TOKYO — The Japanese Coast Guard said on Monday that a deadly collision between a container ship and a United States Navy destroyer had occurred nearly an hour earlier than previously believed, adding that it was investigating whether there had been a delay in reporting the crash.
The ACX Crystal, the 29,000-ton Philippine ship that collided with the destroyer Fitzgerald off Japan, reported the collision at 2:25 a.m., said Tetsuya Tanaka, a Coast Guard spokesman. Crew members said the collision, which killed seven American sailors, had just occurred, so the Coast Guard estimated that it had happened around 2:20. a.m.
But Nippon Yusen, the Japanese shipping company that chartered the ACX Crystal, determined after further investigation that the collision had actually happened around 1:30 a.m., and the Coast Guard has amended its information to reflect that, Mr. Tanaka said on Monday.
Ryota Kowata, a spokesman for Nippon Yusen, said he did not think the crew members had originally reported the collision as having happened at 2:20 a.m. “But if it was reported in that way, I now assume that was due to so much conflicting information in such a chaotic situation,” he said.
Vice Adm. Joseph P. Aucoin, commander of the Seventh Fleet, said on Sunday that the collision had occurred at 2:20 a.m.
Cmdr. Bill Clinton, a spokesman for the fleet, declined on Monday to comment on different versions of the timeline. “The investigations will look at all aspects of this incident to find an answer to the cause of this collision,” he said. “I won’t speculate on why there may be a discrepancy at this time.”
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