A clash between two ships leaves 10 missing sailors near Singapore
An American warship collided early Monday with an oil tanker east of Singapore, and ten sailors are missing.
The guided-missile destroyer John S. McCain hit an oil tanker identified as Alnic MC early in the morning on Monday. The US vessel was headed to Singapore to make a routine port stop along the Malacca Strait route, one of the most congested in the world, according to CNN.
The US Navy issued a report in which it described the collision causing severe damage to the structure below the waterline on the port aft, flooding the cabins and engine rooms, leaving five people injured and 10 missing.
The vessel managed to reach the Changi naval base in Singapore during the afternoon hours, by its own means. Four of the wounded sailors were taken by helicopter to a hospital on the mainland, while 10 other are still missing.
President Donald Trump arrived at the White House after the report of the accident and informed through his Twitter account that his thoughts were with the sailors affected.
The American ship bears the name of the father and grandfather of Senator John McCain, both Navy Admirals. The senator thanked the rescue teams for their work.
The collision, reported at 5:24 am (local time), is the second crash involving a US Navy destroyer against merchant ships in Asian waters in just over two months, Reuters reported.
On June 17, a John S. McCain twin ship, the USS Fitzgerald, almost shipwrecked off the coast of Japan after being hit by a Philippine container ship. These types of accidents are very rare, and coincide with an increase in political tension in the pacific area.
The McCain ship is equipped with the Aegis defense system, set up in case of any missile firing by North Korea, and is part of a fleet of 84 vessels of the same type the United States has deployed in Japan.
According to the CNN report, a series of military exercises were begun on Monday that will last 10 days, trying to counter the threats of Pyongyang, in what many interpret as the preamble to the tensest nuclear conflict since the Crisis Of the Missiles in Cuba in 1962.