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US navy ship collides with merchant vessel near Japan

The US navy said on Friday it is checking for injuries after one of its destroyers collided with a merchant vessel southwest of Yokosuka, Japan.

Initial reports indicated multiple injuries but this information could change, according to a Reuters report citing an unnamed US official.

In a statement, the navy said the USS Fitzgerald collided with a merchant vessel 56 nautical miles southwest of Yokosuka and the extent of any injuries to US personnel “is being determined”.

A US official said the navy ship had suffered some flooding and was unable to operate under its own power.

Japan’s NHK public television website said that the commercial vessel is a Philippines container ship.

There were no details on the status of the container ship.

The navy said it had requested the assistance of the Japanese coastguard.

Such incidents are rare. In May, the USS Lake Champlain collided with a South Korean fishing vessel but both ships were able to operate under their own power.

Source: Reuters news agency.

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