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USS Fitzgerald: Major Search Operation Launched for Missing Sailors

Tokyo (June 18, 2017): A major search operation has been launched for the seven missing American sailors after their ship, USS Fitzgerald collided with a merchant vessel off the coast of Japan yesterday.

US forces and Japanese authorities worked to figure out why the vessels struck each other. The 10,000-ton guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald and the ACX Crystal, a 29,000-ton container ship flagged in the Philippines, collided early Saturday, officials said.

The destroyer suffered severe damage to its starboard side, while the container ship sustained light damage. Forces overnight intensified their search for the missing sailors and tried to get a handle on the cause of a crash in a busy maritime zone crossed daily by 400 to 500 ships.

US and Japanese crafts scoured the spot where the collision happened, about 56 nautical miles southwest Yokosuka and 12 miles off the Izu Peninsula.

The missing sailors could be trapped in a damaged section of the destroyer, a statement from the 7th Fleet suggested.

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