Ten US sailors were missing and five injured Monday after their destroyer collided with a tanker east of Singapore, in the second accident involving an American warship in two months.
The guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain collided with the merchant vessel Alnic MC near the Straits of Malacca in the early hours, the US Navy said.
“Initial reports indicate John S. McCain sustained damage to her port side aft,” it said in a statement as the ship headed to port in Singapore.
“There are currently 10 sailors missing and five injured… Search and rescue efforts are underway in coordination with local authorities.”
Four of the injured sailors were evacuated from the warship to a Singapore hospital by helicopter with non life-threatening injuries while the fifth did not require further medical attention, the navy said.
The destroyer was sailing under its own power after the collision with the Liberian-flagged tanker at 5:24 am (2124 GMT Sunday). The ship had been heading for a routine stop in Singapore.
The vessel is named after US Senator John McCain’s father and grandfather, who were both admirals in the US navy.
McCain said in a tweet that he and his wife “are keeping America’s sailors aboard the USS John S McCain in our prayers tonight — appreciate the work of search & rescue crews”.
President Donald Trump initially said “that’s too bad” in response to reporters’ shouted questions about the collision, as he arrived back at the White House after a holiday.
It was the second recent collision involving a US warship after seven sailors died in June when the destroyer USS Fitzgerald collided with a Philippine-flagged cargo ship in a busy channel in Japan.