Ten sailors from the US navy are missing after an American guided, missile destroyer collided with an oil tanker off the coast of Singapore. Five others are reported to have suffered minor injuries. Ships and helicopters are reported to be searching the sea for survivors.
No injuries have been reported on board the merchant vessel used to transport oil and chemicals, 180-metre-long Alnic MC.
Despite a gaping hole side right at the waterline, the Commander of the US Seventh Fleet has said that the John S. McCain is making its way into port under its own steam.
The Strait of Malacca
The John S. McCain was on its way to a routine port visit when the crash occurred. It had to pass through the Strait of Malacca, which, due to congestion and episodes of piracy, is known to be one of the most notoriously difficult shipping channels in the world.
The accident comes just two months after seven sailors died when another US destroyer, the Fitzgerald, collided with a freighter off the Japanese coast. In that case the US Navy released the ship’s two top naval officers of their duties after an investigation.