In Brief

US Navy punishes officers after collision at sea

Senior officers of USS Fitzgerald are to be stood down for their role in a deadly incident in Japanese waters

Three senior officers on board a US Navy's destroyer when it collided with a container ship in Japanese waters in June, killing seven sailors, are to be removed from duty.

The commanding officer, executive officer and master chief petty officer of the USS Fitzgerald "will be detached from the ship for cause, which is, we've lost trust and confidence in their ability to lead in those positions and they will not return to the ship," Admiral William Moran, the vice chief of naval operations, told reporters.

The accident happened when "the Filipino-flagged ACX Crystal collided with the USS Fitzgerald in the early hours of 17 June in Tokyo Bay, causing a large gash below the water line of the destroyer and flooding lower decks," the BBC reports.

"The Fitzgerald's commanding officer, Cdr. Bryce Benson, and the executive officer, Cdr. Sean Babbiit, were both sleeping, and the master chief petty officer, Brice Baldwin, was not on the bridge at the time of collision," CNN reports. "

While not an admission of guilt for the June accident, the administrative action is a strong indication that the US Navy was at fault for the collision," NBC News says.

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