Search ends for 7 Navy sailors as bodies found

YOKOSUKA, Japan (AP) — The Latest on the U.S. Navy ship collision off the Japanese coast (all times local):

11:10 p.m.

The search for the seven U.S. Navy sailors who went missing after their destroyer collided with a container ship off the Japanese coast has ended after bodies were found in the destroyer.

Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, the commander of the Navy’s 7th Fleet, told reporters that “a number of” bodies were recovered Sunday, a day after the USS Fitzgerald collided with a Philippine-flagged container ship four times its size. He wouldn’t say how many, pending notification of next of kin.

Aucoin said that much of the crew of about 300 was asleep when the collision happened at 2:20 a.m. Saturday, and that one machinery room and two berthing areas for 116 crew members were severely damaged. He said the destroyer was hit on the side and there was a significant impact.

A Navy spokesman said the victims might have been killed by the impact of the collision or drowned in the flooding.

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7:05 p.m.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has sent a sympathy message to President Donald Trump over the fatal collision involving a U.S. Navy destroyer.

Seven U.S. sailors went missing after the USS Fitzgerald collided with a Philippine-flagged container ship early Saturday off Japan’s coast. Several of their bodies were found inside the ship’s flooded compartment Sunday.

Abe said in his message to Trump on Sunday, “We are struck by deep sorrow,” expressing condolences and sympathy “straight from my heart” to the victims and the injured.

Abe wrote, “I express my heartfelt solidarity to America at this difficult time,” praising U.S. servicemen in Japan under the allies’ bilateral security pact.

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2:50 p.m.

The commander of the U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet says that search and rescue efforts are over for the seven sailors missing after a destroyer collided with a merchant ship in waters off Japan.

Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin told reporters at a Navy base in Yokosuka, Japan, that a number of bodies…

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