UPDATE: Captain, 20 Filipino crew of tanker in collision with US destroyer safe – DFA

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The 20 Filipino crew, including the captain of a container ship that collided with a US destroyer off Yokosuka, Japan are safe, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Saturday.

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In a statement the DFA said, “Further to our earlier statement, the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo has been advised by Japanese authorities that there are no Filipino casualties so far from the collision that happened at 2:30 a.m. today about 56 nautical miles southwest of Yokosuka, Japan.”

“The ACX Crystal, a Philippine-flagged vessel, was being manned by 20 Filipino crew including the captain. They are safe. The ship itself was slightly damaged from the incident,” Charmaine Aviquivil, executive director, Office of Public Diplomacy, said.

She added that the commercial vessel was being ported back to Tokyo Bay and “all crew have been instructed to remain onboard pending their interview by Japanese authorities later today.”

“The PHL Embassy will be continue to coordinate with authorities on the matter and a team has been dispatched to meet the ship upon arrival and to extend the necessary assistance to the Filipino seamen,” she said.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and colleagues of the injured and missing US personnel, including Cmdr. Bryce Benson, the USS Fitzgerald’s commanding officer,” Aviquivil said. BERNADETTE TAMAYO

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