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US Navy: bodies of missing sailors found inside damaged destroyer USS Fitzgerald

Search and rescue teams found the bodies of seven sailors, who had been missing during the collision of a US Navy destroyer class “early Burke” USS Fitzgerald and container ship last night off the coast of Japan.Aucoin said, “The Navy family comes together during a tragedy”, and thanked everyone who provided food, blankets, clothes, and emotional support after the Fitzgerald returned home.Although it was initially reported that seven U.S. sailors were unaccounted for and three were injured, the U.S. Navy in Japan announced June 18 that the bodies of several sailors were discovered inside the vessel.(AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko). People watch the damaged USS Fitzgerald being towed near the U.S. Naval base in Yokosuka, southwest of Tokyo, after the U.S. destroyer collided with the Philippine-registered container ship ACX Crystal in the waters off the I.Their bodies had been transferred to the Naval Hospital in Yokosuka, where the Seventh Fleet is based, for identification, Aucoin told reporters on June 18.Naval commanders praised the sailors for containing flooding caused by the collision, stabilizing the ship and sailing it back to port at the United States naval base in Yokosuka. “Now that the ship is in Yokosuka, I ask that you help the families by maintaining their privacy as we continue the search for our shipmates”, he said before the announcement that the bodies were found.Cmdr. Ronald Flanders of the U.S. Naval Forces Japan told ABC News an investigation would be launched to determine the cause of the crash.He said much of the crew of about 300 was asleep when the collision happened at 2:20 a.m. Saturday, and that one machinery room and two berthing areas for 116 crew members were severely damaged.”The damage was significant, this was not a small collision”, said Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, the commander of the Navy’s 7th Fleet.The other two were being treated for lacerations and bruises.Nippon Yusen said all of the ACX Crystal’s 20-member Filipino crew members were safe.The images have shown what appeared to be significant damage on the deck and to part of the radar.US aircraft as well as Japanese helicopters were dispatched to help assist the search effort.The statement did not say if all seven missing crew members were found in the ship, however Japanese media reported that all seven had been found dead.On Twitter, US President Donald Trump said: “Thoughts and prayers with the sailors of USS Fitzgerald and their families”.Aucoin said, “I’m not going to speculate on what happened”.Conditions at the time were clear, though the area – about 56 nautical miles southwest of Yokosuka – is often busy with sea traffic.The 29,000-ton Philippine ship is 222 meters long, while the 8,315-ton Navy destroyer is 154 meters long.The accident set off a major US-Japanese search and rescue operation on Saturday.The Japanese coast guard questioned crew members of the ACX Crystal, and was treating the incident as a case of possible professional negligence, according to regional coast guard official Masayuki Obara.