US Navy sailors' bodies found on stricken ship, some still missing

Sailor Found Hiding on Navy Ship 7 Days After Disappearing

"A number" of bodies have been found in the USS Fitzgerald in flooded berthing compartment damaged when the destroyer collided with a container ship off the coast of Japan, according to the U.S. Navy.

The 10,000-ton guided-missile destroyer and the ACX Crystal, a 29,000-ton container ship flagged in the Philippines, collided early Saturday local time in off Japan's Izu Peninsula, officials said.

The bodies of U.S. sailors missing after their destroyer collided with a container ship off Japan were found in flooded sleeping berths on Sunday, a day after the accident tore a huge gash in the warship's side.

Three sailors were sent to the U.S. naval hospital in Yokosuka after the collision, including the ship's commanding officer, Commander Bryce Benson, who was reported to be in stable condition, the usa navy said.

Several other USA crew members were injured in the accident and had to be evacuated by air to hospital, including the vessel's commanding officer Bryce Benson, who is "undergoing treatment", Aucoin said.

The US Navy destroyer hit a Philippine merchant vessel southwest of the Japanese city of Yokosuka on Saturday.

The U.S.S. Fitzgerald has been towed into it's home port in Japan. The Navy said earlier the ship had about 300 crew on board.

Following the collision a number of the sailors gone missing.

Two berthing spaces, a machinery space and the radio room are said to have been damaged and flooded as a result of the crash.

Three injured sailors, including the Fitzgerald's commanding officer, were rushed to a naval hospital with undisclosed injuries.

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"Out of concern for the families and the notification process, I will decline to state how many we have found at this time", he said.

There was no immediate explanation as to the cause of the collision.

Nippon Yusen said all of the ACX Crystal's 20-member Filipino crew members were safe. The destroyer is salvageable, but repairs probably will take months, he said.

Commander Benson took command of the Fitzgerald on May 13.

But questions remained over how the collision occurred on a clear night a few miles off the coast south of Yokosuka and Tokyo.

It's still unclear exactly what happened, but Japanese media reported that the ACX Crystal made a "sharp turn" shortly before the pre-dawn crash, per The Guardian. "They had to fight this ship to keep it above the surface". None of the 20-member crew on the Philippine-flagged container ship was reported injured.

The bodies were discovered by rescue divers who worked their way through extensive damage to the Fitzgerald's starboard side.

The Fitzgerald is an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer commissioned in 1995. "Now that the ship is in Yokosuka, I ask that you help the families by maintaining their privacy".

He also confirmed that the search for the missing sailors had been called off.

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