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The 10,000-ton USS Fitzgerald and the ACX Crystal, a 29,000-ton container ship flagged in the Philippines, collided off Japan’s Izu Peninsula.
Five of the seven Navy sailors who died may have been almost instantly “incapacitated” and died quickly, according to a preliminary Navy analysis released last month, a defense official told CNN.
The two ships collided on the Fitzgerald’s starboard side directly next to the berthing area, where sailors sleep. The impact ripped the Fitzgerald open and caused water to pour in.
The official also noted the Navy is trying to corroborate accounts which suggest that the two sailors who weren’t almost instantly “incapacitated” attempted to help the other five escape the incoming water.
“But at some point the ship somehow lost communication,” with the two sailors and they also died, according to the official. All seven were found dead in the flooded area.
The Navy is still conducting an investigation into how the collision happened.