Pentagon chief pledges 'broad' probe into navy accidents

Amman (AFP) - US Defence Secretary James Mattis on Monday said the Pentagon will undertake a broad investigation into multiple accidents after the second severe collision involving a US Navy ship in two months.

"My thoughts and prayers are with the sailors and families of the USS John McCain," the destroyer which collided with a tanker off Singapore early Monday, leaving 10 sailors missing and five injured, Mattis said during a visit to Amman.

Mattis said the US Navy's chief of naval operations, Admiral John Richardson, would investigate what lies behind collisions by US ships belonging to the Yokosuka, Japan-based 7th Fleet in the past year, including the McCain and the destroyer USS Fitzgerald, which was smashed by a cargo ship in June off Japan in an accident that killed seven American sailors.

"The chief of naval operations' broader enquiry will look at all related accidents, incidents at sea, that sort of thing. He is going to look at all factors, not just the immediate one," Mattis said.