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Fri, Sept. 20

All 7 missing sailors from USS Fitzgerald found dead

The damaged USS Fitzgerald is seen near the U.S. Naval base in Yokosuka, southwest of Tokyo, after the U.S. destroyer collided with the Philippine-registered container ship ACX Crystal in the waters off the Izu Peninsula Saturday, June 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

The damaged USS Fitzgerald is seen near the U.S. Naval base in Yokosuka, southwest of Tokyo, after the U.S. destroyer collided with the Philippine-registered container ship ACX Crystal in the waters off the Izu Peninsula Saturday, June 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

The U.S. Navy says the bodies of sailors who went missing in the collision between the USS Fitzgerald and a container ship have been found aboard the stricken destroyer.

The Navy says in a statement that searchers had gained access to the spaces that were damaged during the collision. A total of seven sailors had been missing since Saturday's crash off Japan's coast.

The Navy says the remains are being transferred to Naval Hospital Yokosuka where they will be identified.

It says 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.

At least three other crew members, including the captain, were injured.

The Japanese coast guard said it received an emergency call from the container ship, the ACX Crystal, reporting the collision around 2:20 a.m. (17:20 GMT Friday). It was questioning crew members of the ACX Crystal, which is operated by the Japanese shipping company Nippon Yusen K.K., and was treating the incident as a case of possible professional negligence, said Masayuki Obara, a regional coast guard official.

The ACX Crystal weighs 29,060 tons and is 222 meters (730 feet) long, the coast guard said, much larger than the 8,315-ton Navy destroyer. The container ship's left bow was dented and scraped, but it did not appear to have sustained any major structural damage.

Nippon Yusen said all of the ACX Crystal's 20-member Filipino crew members were safe.

Conditions were clear at the time of the collision, though Yutaka Saito of the coast guard said the area is particularly busy with sea traffic.

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