US destroyer in collision off Singapore, rescue efforts launched

A rescue operation is under way after a US destroyer was damaged in a collision with a tanker east of Singapore on Monday. (AP)

A rescue operation is under way after a US destroyer was damaged in a collision with a tanker east of Singapore on Monday, the US Navy said, in the second accident involving an American warship in two months.

Guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain collided with the merchant vessel Alnic MC east of Singapore and near the Straits of Malacca in the early hours, it said a statement.

“Initial reports indicate John S. McCain sustained damage to her port side aft. Search and rescue efforts are underway in coordination with local authorities,” it said.

“The extent of damage and personnel injuries is being determined. The incident will be investigated.”

The navy added that the ship was sailing under its own power and heading to port.

Ten sailors are missing and five injured after the collision, the US Navy said.

“There are currently 10 sailors missing and five injured,” said the navy in an update on the collision between the guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain and merchant vessel Alnic MC in the early hours.

US Senator John McCain tweeted 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”.

The rescue operation involves tug boats, a helicopter and a police coast guard vessel, and US aircraft were also responding, the navy said.

The collision was reported at 5:24 am (2124 GMT Sunday) while the ship was heading for a routine port visit in Singapore, it said.

The ship involved in the collision was a Liberian-flagged tanker used for transporting oil and chemicals and weighing over 30,000 tons, according to industry website Marine Traffic.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:55 - GMT 06:55
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