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US sacks top navy commanders after deadly warship collision

/ 02:33 PM October 11, 2017
USS John S. McCain - Changi naval base - 21 Aug 2017

Damage to the portside is visible as the Guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) steers towards Changi naval base in Singapore following a collision with the merchant vessel Alnic MC Monday, Aug. 21, 2017. The destroyer was docked at Singapore’s naval base with “significant damage” to its hull after an early morning collision with the Alnic MC as vessels from several nations searched Monday for missing U.S. sailors. (Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class JOSHUA FULTON / US Navy file photo via AP)

The US navy on Wednesday sacked two top commanders from a warship that was involved in a deadly collision with a tanker off Singapore, citing a “loss of confidence” in the officers.

On August 21, the guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain smashed into a tanker as the warship headed to Singapore, tearing a huge hole in the hull.

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The collision killed 10 sailors and injured five others.

READ: Nations search for 10 missing after US destroyer collision

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That incident came after another destroyer, the USS Fitzgerald, collided with a Philippine-flagged cargo ship off Japan in June, leaving seven sailors dead.

READ: 7 missing, 2 hurt after US Navy destroyer collides with PH-flagged ship

Commanding officer Alfredo J. Sanchez and executive officer Jessie L. Sanchez of the USS John S. McCain “were relieved of their duties” on Wednesday, the Pacific-based US Seventh Fleet said in a statement.

“Both were relieved due to a loss of confidence,” it said.

Two non-deadly incidents also occurred this year—in January, the USS Antietam ran aground near its base in Japan and in May, the USS Lake Champlain collided with a South Korean fishing vessel.

Following the USS McCain incident, the Navy sacked the commander of the Seventh Fleet, and several other officers and enlisted sailors have been relieved of duty or reprimanded. /jpv

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TAGS: collision, Singapore, US Navy, USS John S. McCain, warship
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