The bodies of sailors missing since the USS Fitzgerald collided with a container vessel were found in flooded compartments in the damaged ship, the United States Navy said on Sunday.
“As search and rescue crews gained access to the spaces that were damaged during the collision this morning, the missing sailors were located,” the US Seventh Fleet said in a statement.
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.
The sailors were reported missing after the guided missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald collided with a Philippine-flagged container ship south of Tokyo Bay in Japan early on Saturday.
The USS Fitzgerald came close to sinking or foundering after the collision ripped a big gash under the warships waterline, the commander of the United States Navy's Seventh Fleet said on Sunday.
“The damage was significant. There was a big gash under the water,” Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin told a news conference at Yokosuka naval base.
Desperate damage control efforts by the crew managed to save the ship, he said.
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