A myriad of information is being analyzed on the cause of the collision, sources close to the matter have said, such as the exact locations of the two vessels, the speed they were traveling at, their routes, their radar and other surveillance capabilities, as well as the weather conditions at the time. NPR report, that the Fitzgerald collided with the container ship ACX Crystal, a vessel three-times her size.
"The USS Fitzgerald suffered damage on her starboard side above and below the waterline", the Navy said in a statement. A search of some parts of the ship will continue once they can be reached after the vessel is pier-side at Yokosuka Naval Base, its home port.
"This has been a hard day", Vice Admiral Joseph P. Aucoin, the commander of the U.S. 7th Fleet, said in the statement.
According to the Navy, the Fitzgerald is "one of eight destroyers that is "forward-deployed to Yokosuka, Japan, supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region".
"Thoughts and prayers with the sailors of USS Fitzgerald and their families", Trump posted on Twitter. "Thank you to our Japanese allies for their assistance".
The Philippine-flagged ACX Crystal was berthed at Tokyo's Oi wharf, where officials were questioning the crew about the cause of the nighttime crash.
The missing sailors could be trapped in a damaged section of the destroyer, a statement from the 7th Fleet suggested.
"My daughter is on the Fitzgerald", a parent wrote on the 7th Fleet's Facebook page.
"So anxious. Just need to hear she is ok. Thinking of all of our sailors and their families!"
The commanding officer of the ship, Cmdr.
Aerial television footage showed one person lying on a stretcher and a rescuer being pulled up to a helicopter that was hovering above the Fitzgerald.
The cause of the collision between the USS Fitzgerald and the 29,000-ton ACX Crystal is now unknown, but container ship collisions are not unknown.
The right side of the USS Fitzgerald is seen off Shimoda, Shizuoka prefecture, Japan, after the Navy destroyer collided with a merchant ship.
Under the bilateral status of forces agreement between the United States and Japan, the former has primary jurisdiction regarding incidents involving members of its forces.
The Japanese Coastguard said that between 400 and 500 ships operate in the area the collision occurred in each day.
The images showed what appeared to be significant damage on the deck and to part of the radar.
An investigation into how the USS Fitzgerald collided with a Philippine-registered container ship in the early hours of Saturday morning has begun. After the collision between the two ships, the Navy had said that seven crew members are unaccounted for and at least was injured.
There were no reported injuries on the container ship, which is operated by the Japanese shipping company Nippon Yusen K.K.
The container vessel left the central Japanese city of Nagoya on Friday and had been due to arrive in the capital yesterday.