Alwaght- Dead US Navy sailors have been found in a compartment of USS John S. McCain warship, which was flooded after a collision with a merchant vessel off the coast of Singapore.
“The divers were able to locate some remains in those sealed compartments during their search today,” the US Pacific Fleet commander Admiral Scott Swift said at a news conference in Singapore on Tuesday.
He said that the search and rescue operation will go on “until the probability of discovering sailors is exhausted.”
“Additionally, the Malaysian Navy has reported that they have found potential remains,” Scott stated, adding that Malaysia is yet to provide further details.
The 505ft-long McCain collided with a 600ft oil and chemical tanker, the Alnic MC, near the coast of Singapore on Monday, injuring five American sailors and leaving 10 missing.
The guided missile destroyer was significantly damaged in the incident and arrived at Changi Naval Base in Singapore with several flooded compartments.
The US Navy also called for an “operational pause" for at least 24 hours for all its fleets around the world following the collision.
The McCain is the second US guided-missile destroyer to be involved in a collision in two months. In June, the USS Fitzgerald collided with a Philippines container ship off the coast of Japan, killing seven navy sailors. The two senior officers and the senior enlisted sailor on the Fitzgerald were removed after the incident.
The USS Fitzgerald and USS John S McCain are both ballistic missile defense (BMD) capable warships and part of the same Japan-based destroyer squadron.
The increased presence of US Navy warships in Asia especially at waters bordering China is viewed as destabilizing and threat to peace and stability in the region. Washington is using its naval power to extend it hegemony in Asia and challenge China’s influence while igniting conflicts among regional nations.