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9,000-disp ton US destroyer collides with 39,565-dw ton off Yokohama

SEVEN American crew members were missing and at least one was injured after a 9,000-ton destroyer, the USS Fitzgerald, collided 2am Saturday with the 2,858-TEU ACX Crystal, a Philippines 39,565-dwt containership southwest of Yokusuka, Japan.

Footage from the Japanese TV network NHK showed heavy damage to the starboard beam of the warship and a person on a stretcher being lifted to a helicopter.

The USS Fitzgerald, based at Yokosuka, is part of Destroyer Squadron 15, one of 15 destroyers and three cruisers deployed to counter missile threats. Built in 1993, she has been stationed in Yokosuka since 2004.

The boxship about which there were no details of damage at press time, was built in 2008 operated by SeaQuest Ship Management of Genoa, a firm that runs a score of bulkers and only few box ships and a couple of ro-ro vessels, among which the ACX Crystal was not listed on its website. 

Twelve hours after the accident, the Crystal was standing off southeast of the island of Oshima, south of Yokohama, according to MarineTraffic.com.
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