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Dead crew found in burnt tanker

THE bodies of two Filipino crewmen have been found after a liquefied gas tanker caught fire on Sunday night in the mouth of the Yangtze River near Huaniaoshan Island, according to rescuers.

Shanghai-based Donghai Rescue Bureau said the bodies were found in the cabin at 11:45pm on Tuesday after the rescue team boarded the Panama-flagged Golden Crux 18 amid strong winds.

The bureau said the rescue and fire "was more difficult than expected" as the winds could easily fan the flames again. Rescuers are working to stabilize the ship.

Twelve of the 14 crewmen, one Burmese and 11 Filipinos, abandoned ship and escaped on a lifeboat which was rescued early on Monday morning after an explosion in the engine room.

The unloaded tanker is only four nautical miles away from Huaniaoshan Island and the World Expo undersea fiber-optic cable nearby, the bureau said.

"If the ship hit the island or the anchor caught the cable, the damage would be extremely severe," an official said.


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