What we know about Navy destroyer’s deadly collision with a container ship off Japan

The Japanese coast guard is investigating the collision between the Navy destroyer USS Fitzgerald and a container ship off the coast of Japan on Saturday that killed seven U.S. sailors and injured several more.

Here’s what we know:

The collision happened early Saturday

The USS Fitzgerald collided with the Philippine-flagged container ship ACX Crystal off the coast of Yokosuka, Japan, before 2:20 a.m. Saturday local time, according to the U.S. Navy.

The Fitzgerald sustained damage on its starboard side and experienced flooding in some spaces as a result of the collision, according to the Navy.

The destroyer was operating about 56 nautical miles southwest of Yokosuka when it collided with the ACX Crystal. Most of the Fitzgerald’s 300 crew members on board would have been asleep at the time, The Associated Press reported.

Weather conditions were clear at the time of the collision, the AP reported. The area is often busy with sea traffic, with as many as 400 ships passing through it every day, according to Japan’s coast guard.

The container ship made a sudden turn shortly before the collision

The ACX Crystal’s route, provided by vessel-tracking service MarineTraffic, shows that the ship made a sudden turn at about 1:30 a.m., as if trying to avoid something, before continuing eastward.

MarineTraffic via AP
A screenshot provided by vessel-tracking service MarineTraffic shows the route of the container ship ACX Crystal that collided with the USS Fitzgerald in the waters southwest of Tokyo, June 16, 2017, killing seven U.S. sailors.

The ACX Crystal then made a U-turn and returned around 2:20 a.m. to the area of the collision.

It took nearly an hour for the collision to be reported

An official for Japan’s coast guard said it is investigating why it took nearly an hour for the collision to be reported, the AP reported.

The coast guard originally said the collision occurred at 2:20 a.m., because when the ACX Crystal reported the crash at 2:25 a.m., it said the…

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