Missing US sailors found dead in flooded compartments

All seven missing sailors from the USS Fitzgerald were found dead in flooded berthing compartments following the warship’s collision with a merchant vessel, a US Navy official told CNN on Saturday.

The Navy’s 7th Fleet said searchers found the bodies Sunday morning after the ship returned to its base in Japan.

“The families are being notified and being provided the support they need during this difficult time. The names of the sailors will be released after all notifications are made,” the Navy said in a statement without specifying the number of bodies that had been recovered.

The 10,000-ton guided-missile destroyer and the ACX Crystal, a 29,000-ton container ship flagged in the Philippines, collided early Saturday local time, officials said.

The destroyer suffered severe damage to its starboard side, while the container ship sustained light damage.

Naval commanders praised the sailors for containing flooding caused by the collision, stabilizing the ship and sailing it back to port at the US naval base in Yokosuka, where divers inspected its damage and developed a plan for repairs and inspection. The ship had left the base Friday for routine operations.

The bodies were taken to a US naval hospital in Yokosuka.