Ten US Navy sailors are missing after an American warship collided with a merchant ship east of Singapore.
The USS John S. McCain collided with the oil tanker Alnic MC on Monday morning local time while the guided-missile destroyer was passing near the Malacca Strait to make a port visit in Singapore , the Navy’s 7th Fleet said in a statement.
The collision marked the second accident involving US Navy destroyers in Asian waters in over two months.
“Initial reports indicate John S. McCain sustained damage to her port side aft,” the Navy said as a search-and-rescue mission was underway. “The ship was transiting to a routine port visit in Singapore.”
“There are currently 10 sailors missing and five injured… Search and rescue efforts are underway in coordination with local authorities,” the Navy statement said.
Trump sends ‘prayers’ to US sailors in crash
US President Donald Trump on Sunday night tweeted his “thoughts and prayers” to the sailors aboard the warship.
“Thoughts & prayers are w/ our @USNavy sailors aboard the #USSJohnSMcCain where search & rescue efforts are underway”, Trump said in a post which contained a link to the US military’s announcement about the crash.
According to shipping data in Thomson Reuters Eikon, the Alnic MC is a Liberian-flagged 183 meter-long chemical tanker of more than 50,000 deadweight tons.
The American destroyer was transiting to a routine port visit in Singapore when the collision was reported at 6:24 am Japan Standard Time.
A Philippine container ship collided with a US warship that almost sank off the coast of Japan in June.
After the accident, the Navy said it removed the two senior officers and the senior enlisted sailor on the warship.
Seven American sailors aboard the guided-missile destroyer the USS Fitzgerald lost their lives due to the accident.
Sunday’s collision made US Republican Senator John McCain, a Vietnam War-era naval aviator, to make comments about the ship that has been named after him.
“Cindy & I are keeping America’s sailors aboard the USS John S McCain in our prayers tonight – appreciate the work of search & rescue crews,” the Republican lawmaker said on Twitter.