Japanese destroyer collides with Korean ship

A Japanese navy destroyer and a Korean container vessel collided Tuesday night off southern Japan, causing fires on both vessels, Japan's defence ministry said.
Smoke billows from the bow of the Japanese navy destroyer JS Kurama after it collided with a commercial vessel in Kanmon strait, off southern Japan, on Tuesday. ((Kyodo News/Associated Press) )
A Japanese navy destroyer and a Korean commercial vessel collided Tuesday night off southern Japan, causing fires on both vessels, Japan's Defence Ministry said.

The destroyer Kurama and the other vessel — a container ship named the Carina Star — collided in the Kanmon Strait near Japan's southern main island of Kyushu, about 850 kilometres southwest of Tokyo, Japan Coast Guard spokesman Seishi Izumi said.

The Kurama was reported to be still burning late Tuesday night local time, although the fire was said to be under control. Izumi said paint stored in the destroyer apparently caught fire after the impact.

The Kurama's bow was badly damaged, but the ship could still navigate.

The fire on the Korean vessel was put out shortly after the collision.

Three crew members were reported to be injured on the Kurama. Two had smoke inhalation, while one had bumps and bruises.

Japanese broadcaster NHK said there were no reports of injuries on the Korean ship, which had a crew of 16, including 12 from South Korea and four from Myanmar.

The Kurama, with a crew of 360 sailors, had been sailing back to its base at the port of Sasebo on Kyushu after taking part in a fleet review Sunday at the port of Yokosuka.