DFA: No Filipino casualties in PH-U.S. ship collision

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The Philippine-flagged ACX Crystal is 741 feet long and displaces 29,060 tons.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 18) — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said there were no Filipinos hurt in the collision between a Philippine-flagged merchant vessel and a U.S. Navy destroyer off the coast of Japan on June 17.                       

"The ACX Crystal, a Philippine-flagged vessel, was being manned by 20 Filipino crew, including the captain," the DFA said in a June 17 statement. "They are safe. The ship itself was slightly damaged from the incident."

The agency added that the ship was being brought back to Tokyo Bay, with the crew instructed to remain on board pending their interview with Japanese authorities.

The DFA also said a team was dispatched to help the crew members once the ACX Crystal arrives.

Meanwhile, seven U.S. sailors from the USS Fitzgerald were reported missing after the collision, which happened around 2:30 a.m. local time in the Pacific Ocean about 56 nautical miles from the port of Yokosuka and 12 miles off the Izu Peninsula, the Japanese coast guard said.

Read: US sailors missing after Navy destroyer collision with PH-flagged ship

There was flooding in a portion of the Fitzgerald, officials said, as the ship was towed to the U.S. naval base in Yokosuka escorted by a Japanese coast guard ship.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and colleagues of the injured and missing US personnel, including Cmdr. Bryce Benson, the USS Fitzgerald's commanding officer," the DFA said.

The Japanese coast guard said the area is known for its heavy maritime traffic and has been the site of numerous previous collisions.

Size difference

The Fitzgerald is an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer with a crew of about 330 sailors.

The ship, weighing 10,000 tons and measuring 505 feet long, completed $21 million (around ₱1.05 billion) in upgrades and repairs last February and is forward-deployed to Yokosuka, supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, the service said.

Meanwhile, Marinetraffic.com said the Crystal weighs 29,060 tons and measures 741 feet.

Carl Schuster, former director of operations at the US Pacific Command's Joint Intelligence Center, said the larger container ship left the smaller U.S. destroyer vulnerable in the collision.

CNN's Zachary Cohen, Barbara Starr, Brad Lendon, Steve Almasy, Yoko Wakatsuki, Tammy Kupperman, Michael Callahan and Jeff Zeleny , and CNN Philippines Staff contributed to this report.