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US sailors who died in destroyer-container ship crash

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APTOPIX-Japan-US-Navy-Collision

The Fitzgerald had left the base Friday for routine operations.

"U.S. and Japanese support from the Navy, Maritime Self-Defense Force and Coast Guard are in the area to ensure that the sailors on USS Fitzgerald have the resources they need to stabilize their ship", said Adm. John Richardson, Chief of Naval Operations, in an earlier statement. "Under my authority, I am initiating a JAGMAN investigation into this collision, and I will appoint a flag officer to lead that investigation".

The ACX Crystal made a sharp turn at 1:30 a.m., quickly resumed its previous heading and made a U-turn about half an hour later.

Benson was flown off the crippled ship by helicopter after the accident and was being treated at the naval hospital at Yokosuka, according to Aucoin, as were two other sailors who were medevaced.

TOKYO (AP) - Days after a fatal collision between a U.S. Navy destroyer and a merchant container ship, little information has emerged to explain how it could have happened.

"We are fully cooperating with the investigation", said Manami Meguro, a spokeswoman for Nippon Yusen. "It was right near the pilot's house, and there is a big puncture".

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

This updated photo released by the U.S. Navy, Monday, June 19, 2017, shows Fire Controlman 2nd Class Carlos Victor Ganzon Sibayan, 23, from Chula Vista, California. That was the time that the Fitzgerald alerted the Seventh Fleet of the collision, a spokesman said.

The Japan Coast Guard subsequently revised the time to 1:30am, meaning the container ship waited 55 minutes before contacting the coast guard, according to the Japan Coast Guard. Coast guard officials said the container ship has a speed-increasing bulbous bow that sticks out in front of the ship below the waterline, suggesting that part stabbed the destroyer's bottom, allowing the seawater to gush in.

He said officials are planning to get hold of a device with communication records to examine further details of the crash. There will also be a safety investigation.

Three people were evacuated from the Fitzgerald after the collision, which took place about 56 nautical miles southwest of Yokosuka, where the U.S. Navy has a base.

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The US Navy did not immediately respond when asked if it would release tracking data to the Japan Coast Guard. Flanders said, "That is not our understanding".

Brown and first lady Anne Gust Brown said the sailors "bravely gave their lives in service to our state and nation" and extended their "deepest condolences" to the sailors' families and friends.

One charge that could result from the probe is professional negligence, the Japanese Coast Guard said, but no accusations of criminal wrongdoing have been levied.

"Our probe is still under way, and we are discussing" with the USA authorities over interviews with American sailors, a Japanese coastguard official told AFP Tuesday.

The bodies of the seven crew members who died, their ages ranging from 19 to 37, were found by Navy divers after the warship returned to Yokosuka, Japan, home to the Navy's 7th fleet.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Monday said President Trump and the entire administration were extending their thoughts and prayers to the sailors. It likely would have been more if not for the the men and women doing what they were trained to do.

NYK and the ship's owner are cooperating with a Japan coast guard investigation into the collision, the shipping firm said.

Huynh's sister, Lan Huynh, told WVIT-TV that the family is coping as best they can.

Sonar Technician 3rd Class Ngoc T. Truong Huynh, 25, always "had the brightest smile", his sister says.

"That (1:30 a.m. crash time) is not our understanding", Flanders told The Associated Press.

Harden told his mother that four men in his berth and three in the one above him died in the accident.

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