Texas sailor among the dead in destroyer-container ship collision

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YOKOSUKA, Japan (AP) A sailor from Texas is among the seven dead after a container ship collided with a U.S. destroyer.

Gunner's Mate 2nd Class Noe Hernandez, 26, of Weslaco was found dead along with the other six victims on Sunday.

Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, the commander of the Navy's 7th Fleet, told reporters that the bodies were recovered Sunday, a day after the USS Fitzgerald collided with a Philippine-flagged container ship four times its size.

He wouldn't say how many, pending notification of next of kin.

Aucoin said that much of the crew of about 300 was asleep when the collision happened at 2:20 a.m. Saturday, and that one machinery room and two berthing areas for 116 crew members were severely damaged.

He said the destroyer was hit on the side and there was a significant impact.

A Navy spokesman said the victims might have been killed by the impact of the collision or drowned in the flooding.

Acting Secretary of the Navy Sean Stackley says the Navy is deeply saddened and promised a full investigation.

He said in a statement that "we are all deeply saddened by the tragic loss of our fellow shipmates."

He also praised their colleagues for saving the USS Fitzgerald from further damage and bringing it back to port. The incident happened early Saturday morning as many of the crew slept.

Stackley promised to "fully investigate" the cause of the collision.

The other sailors found dead were Gunner's Mate Seaman Dakota Kyle Rigsby, 19, from Palmyra, Va; Yeoman 3rd Class Shingo Alexander Douglass, 25, from San Diego, Calif; Sonar Technician 3rd Class Ngoc T Truong Huynh, 25, from Oakville, Conn.; Fire Controlman 2nd Class Carlos Victor Ganzon Sibayan, 23, from Chula Vista, Calif.; Personnel Specialist 1st Class Xavier Alec Martin, 24, from Halethorpe, Md., and Fire Controlman 1st Class Gary Leo Rehm Jr., 37, from Elyria, Ohio