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Dead brought ashore after 4 days at sea

THE bodies of two fishermen, a Filipino and a South Korean, were finally brought to shore late Tuesday night in Shanghai. The men died last Friday in a suspected gas leak aboard the Oriental Angel, a fishing vessel, but fog prevented the ship from coming into Waigaoqiao Port. The bodies were kept in a freezer for four days.

The ship was stranded at the mouth of the Yangtze River along with hundreds of other fog-bound vessels.

The victims, 59-year-old chief engineer Kang Sin-Jae and 32-year-old mechanic Pagtalunan Santos Romeo Jr, were killed when ammonia gas leaked into one of the cabins about 8am on Friday, police said. The pair were found dead at the scene.

When the fog lifted and the vessel was able to come into port, the bodies were transferred to Longhua Funeral Home.

Police have ruled out the possibility of any criminal involvement in their deaths. The family of the South Korean asked for his body to be flown home. Authorities said it would take another seven to 10 days to complete the legal paperwork in Shanghai and release the corpse.

The family of the Filipino sailor was negotiating with the ship's owners about a compensation payment yesterday and has not decided what to do with the victim's body, port police said.

Emergency rescue

Meanwhile, another Filipino sailor from a Liberian freighter was being treated in a local hospital after being taken to the Shanghai No. 1 People's Hospital by a rescue helicopter in the early hours of yesterday morning.

The crew of the Aenaos sent a rescue call out at 11pm on Tuesday after the sailor started vomiting blood.

Bad visibility caused by fog seriously challenged the rescue, said port police. The sailor was finally taken to port by a rescue boat and then flown to hospital by helicopter.

The sailor is out of critical condition, said the hospital officials. Doctors are still diagnosing the exact nature of his problem.

Fog hampered shipping traffic at the mouth of the Yangtze River from last Friday into the beginning of this week. It started to lift on Tuesday and many delayed ships were finally able to get moving.

Susan Maersk, a Danish freighter, was finally able to pull out of Waigaoqiao Port yesterday at midday, after a delay of 130 hours, said the port immigration police.


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