Another collision has taken place in Asia’s seas between a US warship and commercial vessel, the second incident in two months.
The US Navy has reported ten of its sailors missing and five injured due to the USS John S. McCain guided-missile destroyer colliding with the Alnic MC oil tanker east of Singapore at 5:24 am local time.
Four of the injured sailors were air-lifted to a hospital in Singapore with non life-threatening injuries, one needed no further treatment.
But ten of the destroyer's crew are still missing after the ship crashed east of the Malacca Strait.
The USS John S. McCain was heading to Singapore through the shipping route for a routine port call.
Satellite tracking shows its final movements before the crash below:
A search-and-rescue mission is now underway to find the sailors, with US Navy planes, Singaporean ships, helicopters and tug boats all involved.
At 06:00 GMT, the USS John S. McCain was moving towards Singapore's Changi Naval Base under its own steam, accompanied by two vessels.
The crash could have caused an environmental disaster as a crew member on the Alnic MC told Reuters that the Liberian-flagged, 183-meter-long tanker was carrying 12,000 tonnes of oil when the collision took place.
Naval competency will be under scrutiny as the collision follows the USS Fitzgerald almost sinking off the coast of Japan after it hit a Philippine container ship on June 17, 2017.
Singapore’s government has not reported any injuries on the Alnic MC, which sustained damage to a compartment at the front of the ship.
Malaysia's navy chief Ahmad Kamarulzaman Ahmad Badaruddin tweeted that two ships, as well as aircraft from its navy and air force, were helping with the search for the missing sailors.
There has been no immediate explanation for the collision.
— Chief of Navy – PTL (@mykamarul) August 21, 2017