Ten sailors were missing after a Navy destroyer collided with a merchant ship east of the Singapore and Malacca Straits, authorities said Sunday.
Five sailors were injured in the collision between the USS John S. McCain and the merchant vessel Alnic MC, a 30,000-ton chemical and oil tanker sailing under the Libyan flag, the Navy said in a statement.
Four of the injured sailors were evacuated by a Singaporean Navy helicopter to a hospital in the island city-state with non-life threatening injuries. The fifth injured sailor did not require immediate medical attention, the Navy said.
A Navy spokesman told NBC News the incident was being treated as an accident.
There were no reports of oil pollution following the incident, Singapore’s government said in a statement.
The guided missile destroyer is named for the Arizona’s senator’s father and grandfather, both of whom were admirals.
Responding to a shouted question from a reporter about the incident on Sunday, President Donald Trump said: “That’s too bad.”
Trump later tweeted, “Thoughts & prayers are w/ our @USNavy sailors aboard the #USSJohnSMcCain where search & rescue efforts are underway.”
The collision was reported east of Singapore and the Straits of Malacca at 6:24 a.m. Japan Standard Time (5:24 p.m. ET), the Navy said in a statement. The collision occurred when the ship was en route to a routine port visit in Singapore.
The John S. McCain suffered damage to its port side, the statement said, and a search and rescue operation was underway.
The incident marked the second collision involving a Navy destroyer in just under three months. On June 7, the USS Fitzgerald crashed into a Japanese merchant ship, killing seven sailors. The ship’s three senior officers were relieved of their duties after an investigation found that the sailors responsible for watching the ship’s bridge “lost situational awareness,” said Admiral William Moran, the vice chief of naval operations.
“Serious mistakes were made by the crew,” he said.