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10 sailors missing after USS John S. McCain collides with 600-foot tanker

Everett Rosenfeld
Initial reports indicated the USS John S. McCain sustained damage to its port side, U.S. authorities said.

Search and rescue efforts were underway and 10 sailors were missing Monday morning local time after the USS John S. McCain collided with a merchant ship, the U.S. 7th Fleet said in a notice.

The ship, a guided-missile destroyer, was involved in the collision while on its way to Singapore for a routine port visit, the notice said. The incident happened east of Singapore and the Strait of Malacca, the 7th Fleet said.

The Navy reported that 10 sailors were missing and five were injured as a search and rescue effort was ongoing.

Still, the ship is currently sailing under its own power and heading to port, the 7th Fleet said.

U.S. Sen. John McCain reacted to the incident on Twitter:

The merchant vessel involved in the collision is the Alnic MC, which is a Liberian-flagged, 183 meter-long (600 feet) oil or chemical tanker of 50,760 deadweight tonnes, according to shipping data in Thomson Reuters Eikon.

There were no crew injuries on the tanker, according to Singaporean authorities.

Shipping data showed it last sent a transponder signal at 2258 GMT Sunday and has since come to a halt 10 to 20 kilometers (6-12 miles) off the east coast of the Pengerang Peninsula in Johor, southern Malaysia. The ship data showed it was "ballasting," meaning that it was not loaded full of oil for cargo.

The U.S. Navy said last week it had removed the two senior officers and the senior enlisted sailor on a U.S. warship that almost sank off the coast of Japan in June after it was struck by a Philippine container ship.

That collision killed seven U.S. sailors aboard the guided-missile destroyer the USS Fitzgerald.

—Reuters contributed to this report.