United States

Sailors' remains found from John S McCain collision

Divers recover remains of all 10 sailors who went missing after USS John McCain collided with a tanker off Singapore.

The crash left a gaping hole in the vessel's hull and flooded it with water [File: Ahmad Masood/Reuters]

The US Navy has recovered the remains of all 10 sailors killed after a warship collided with an oil tanker near Singapore and Malaysia.

Navy and Marine Corps divers searched for one week in flooded compartments of the guided missile destroyer after John S McCain, the damaged ship, docked at Singapore's Changi Naval Base.

"The US Navy and Marine Corps divers have now recovered the remains of all 10 USS John S.McCain sailors," the Seventh Fleet said in a statement on its website on Monday.

The navy found the remains of missing sailors inside sealed sections of the damaged hull of the warship.

READ MORE: Ten missing after US destroyer collides with oil tanker

The sailors were aged between 20 and 39 years old.

 The US navy has recovered remains of all 10 sailors killed in a warship collision [US Navy handout/Reuters]

"The incident is under investigation to determine the facts and circumstances of the collision," the statement said.

The guided-missile destroyer collided with the Alnic MC as it headed for a routine stop in the city-state last week, leaving a gaping hole in the vessel's hull and flooding crew berths and machinery and communications rooms with water. 

The pre-dawn crash sparked a multinational search and rescue operation off Singapore, but it was called off after several days, and authorities shifted their focus to flooded parts of the ship.

The incident, the fourth major accident for the US Pacific Fleet this year, has prompted the navy to begin a global review of its operations and remove Joseph Aucoin - the commander of the Seventh Fleet.

The US Navy has also flagged plans for temporary and staggered pauses in operations across its global fleet to allow staff to focus on safety.

The Seventh Fleet, headquartered in Japan, operates as many as 70 ships, including the US Navy's only forward-deployed aircraft carrier, and has about 140 aircraft and 20,000 sailors. 

Source: News agencies