International desk – Seven US Navy crew members have gone missing after their ship collided with a merchant vessel off the coast of Japan, according to media reports.
Among the injured is the USS Fitzgerald’s commanding officer, who was airlifted to hospital by Japanese helicopter.
The destroyer collided with the container ship about 56 nautical miles (104km) south-west of Yokosuka, according to BBC report.
Aerial images showed heavy damage to the Navy ship’s starboard side after the collision at about 02:30 local time on Saturday (18:30 BST Friday).
The ship’s commanding officer, Cdr Bryce Benson, was in a stable condition after being transferred to US Naval Hospital Yokosuka, according to Navy officials.
Two other sailors were flown to hospital by helicopter for treatments for “lacerations and bruises”, said the US 7th Fleet via Twitter.
It said earlier that the USS Fitzgerald had experienced flooding in some areas, and the full extent of injuries was being determined.
It also said the 154-metre (505ft) ship was now on its way to Yokosuka – under its own power, but with limited propulsion.