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10 sailors missing after USS John S. McCain collides with merchant ship

A widespread search operation was underway Monday for 10 American sailors missing after their guided-missile destroyer collided with a larger oil tanker off Singapore.

The USS John S. McCain is the second Navy ship in three months involved in a collision with a merchant ship from another country.

It suffered “significant damage” to the hull after it was hit by the Alnic MC, a 30,000-ton chemical and oil tanker sailing under the Libyan flag, the Navy said in a statement.

Ten sailors were missing and five were injured following the collision, which happened at 5:24 a.m. Singapore time (5:24 p.m. ET Sunday), according to the Navy’s latest update issued around nine-and-a-half hours later.

A Navy spokesman told NBC News it was being treated as an accident.

Singapore is leading search and rescue operations, providing four ships from its navy and coast guard as well as three tugboats from the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, its government said in a statement.

Also involved in the effort are helicopters and Ospreys from the amphibious assault ship USS America, the U.S. Navy added.


Image: The U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain

The U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain is seen after a collision in Singapore waters.