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10 Sailors Missing, 5 Injured After Destroyer Collides with Tanker

  • Damage to the portside is visible as the Guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain steers towards Changi Naval Base, Republic of Singapore, following a collision with the merchant vessel Alnic MC on Aug. 21, 2017. (U.S. Navy photo/Joshua Fulton) Damage to the portside is visible as the Guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain steers towards Changi Naval Base, Republic of Singapore, following a collision with the merchant vessel Alnic MC on Aug. 21, 2017. (U.S. Navy photo/Joshua Fulton)
  • USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) moored pier side at Changi Naval Base in Singapore following a collision with the merchant vessel Alnic MC east of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore on Aug. 21, 2017. (U.S. Navy photo/Grady T. Fontana) USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) moored pier side at Changi Naval Base in Singapore following a collision with the merchant vessel Alnic MC east of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore on Aug. 21, 2017. (U.S. Navy photo/Grady T. Fontana)
  • Tugboats assist the USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) at it steers towards Changi Naval Base in Singapore following a collision with the merchant vessel Alnic MC east of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore on Aug. 21, 2017 (U.S. Navy photo/Joshua Fulton) Tugboats assist the USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) at it steers towards Changi Naval Base in Singapore following a collision with the merchant vessel Alnic MC east of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore on Aug. 21, 2017 (U.S. Navy photo/Joshua Fulton)

The Navy is searching for 10 sailors and has reported five more injured after a U.S. Navy destroyer collided with a merchant ship east of Singapore.

Search-and-rescue efforts are underway in the Pacific hours after the damaging collision -- the second such incident in two months.

The USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) collided with the Alnic MC, a Liberian-flagged oil and chemical tanker, around 6:24 a.m. Monday local time in the South China Sea east of Singapore and the Strait of Malacca, according to a statement from 7th Fleet.

The run-in caused significant damage to the McCain -- crew berthing spaces flooded and water also inundated machinery and communications rooms, the Navy said. Crews raced to control the damage to the ship, which sailed under its own power to Changi Naval Base.

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The incident, occurring while the McCain was headed for a port visit in Singapore, tore a hole in the port side aft, or left rear part, of the destroyer, according to photographs released by the Navy.

Four of the injured sailors were medically evacuated by a Singapore military helicopter to a hospital with non-threatening injuries; the fifth didn't require additional medical attention, the service said.

Assisting with the response were MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft and SH-60 Sea Hawk helicopters from the USS America amphibious assault ship; and various ships and aircraft from Singapore, including tugboats, the naval ship RSS Gallant, helicopters and the coast guard vessel Basking Shark, according to 7th Fleet.

The accident comes just days after the Navy fired the top three officials from the USS Fitzgerald for their role in a deadly collision with a cargo ship on June 17 off the coast of Japan.

Cmdr. Bryce Benson, commander of the Fitzgerald, and Cmdr. Sean Babbitt, the executive officer, were "detached for cause," meaning the Navy "has lost trust and confidence in their ability to lead," the service announced Thursday.

In addition, the top enlisted sailor aboard the Fitzgerald, Chief Petty Officer Brice Baldwin, and several other sailors on the watch crew will face nonjudicial punishment for their role in the accident in which seven sailors drowned and others were injured.

The latest incident marks the fourth mishap involving U.S. ships in the Pacific this year, Fox News reported.

The USS Antietam, a Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser, ran aground and dumped oil in Tokyo Bay in January and the USS Lake Champlain hit a fishing boat off the coast of South Korea in May, according to the network.

-- Richard Sisk contributed to this report.

-- Brendan McGarry can be reached at brendan.mcgarry@military.com. Follow him on Twitter at @Brendan_McGarry.

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