Seven U.S. Navy sailors found in crushed portion of destroyer involved in collision
The damaged USS Fitzgerald is seen near the U.S. Naval base in Yokosuka, southwest of Tokyo, after the U.S. destroyer collided with the Philippine-registered container ship ACX Crystal in the waters off the Izu Peninsula Saturday, June 17, 2017. The USS Fitzgerald was back at its home port in Japan after colliding before dawn Saturday with the container ship four times its size, while the coast guard and Japanese and U.S. military searched for seven sailors missing after the crash. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
Eugene Hoshiko And Koji Ueda, The Associated Press
Published Saturday, June 17, 2017 6:34AM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, June 17, 2017 10:51PM EDT
YOKOSUKA, Japan -- Navy divers found the bodies of missing sailors Sunday aboard the stricken USS Fitzgerald that collided with a container ship in the busy sea off Japan, the Navy said.
Searchers gained access to the spaces that were damaged during the collision and brought the remains to Naval Hospital Yokosuka where they will be identified, the Navy said in a statement. Seven sailors had been missing.
It said that the families were being notified and provided the support they need during "this difficult time." The names of the sailors will be released after all notifications are made.
Sixteen hours following the predawn Saturday collision, the damaged destroyer was pumping out water as it limped back to its home port in Yokosuka Naval Base south of Tokyo by sunset Saturday, its crew lined up on deck. The Philippine-flagged container ship was berthed at Tokyo's Oi wharf, where officials began questioning crew members about the cause of the crash.
At least three other crew members, including the captain, were injured in the crash, which damaged two berthing spaces, a machinery room and the radio room. Most of the more than 200 sailors aboard would have been asleep in their berths at the time of the collision.
It wasn't clear what caused the crash.