HOUSTON — As if the city of Houston hasn’t seen enough tragedy due to catastrophic flooding from Hurricane Harvey, things took a turn for the worse today after a U.S. Navy ship collided with a building in the downtown area.
The ship was identified as an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer belonging to the Navy’s 7th Fleet.
It was unclear why the destroyer was not able to see the building and take evasive action, or why it was over 20 miles inland and trying to navigate through a major metropolitan area.
“I had climbed up on my roof due to dem risin’ flood waters, when I saw a big ship sailin’ down the street,” said Georgia Brown, a resident who witnessed the incident. “I says to myself ‘Oh Lawdy, someone’s done come to rescue us!’ and then it sails right past my house and smack straight into that yonder building.”
This marks the fifth collision incident this summer for destroyers from the Navy’s beleaguered 7th Fleet, following incidents involving the USS Fitzgerald, USS John S. McCain, and the USS Ted Kennedy.
The Navy declined to comment on the cause of the collision, citing an ongoing investigation, although it did say the captain had been promptly relieved of his command.
Despite reticence from the Navy, a senior defense official speculated the ship had likely veered off course from its patrol route in the South China Sea.
Navy officials say they are planning a number of PowerPoint trainings related to urban maritime navigation.