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9 Chinese seamen missing in Malacca tanker fire

NINE seamen from Chinese mainland involved in a ship collision offshore Malaysia in the Malacca Straits were missing today.

Su Qiang, the Consular Counselor the Chinese Embassy in Malaysia, said that the nine seamen were among 25 Chinese crew of an oil tanker, which collided with another bulk carrier in the Straits late yesterday.

The oil tanker's owner was from China's Taiwan and it was chartered by a maritime transport company of Chinese mainland to ship oil from the Mideast to South Korea.

The 25 crew included 23 seamen from Chinese mainland and two from Taiwan.

Rescuing work was continuing at noon by the local maritime police to try best to find the missing seamen.

Two helicopters also were mobilized to join the search and rescue, said Su, who rushed to a hospital and hotel to visit the survivors early this morning.

So far, three of the 16 survivors had been hospitalized in Port Dickson and the other 13 stayed in a hotel there.

All of them were in stable conditions, witnesses said.

An oil tanker collided with a bulk carrier about 20 nautical miles off Port Dickson in the Strait Melaka, Malaysia, around 9:30pm yesterday and both ships caught fire.

The tanker was reportedly registered in Liberia and the bulk carrier from Britain and that each had a crew of 25, Port Dickson Police chief Supt mazlan Othman told media.

He said the Fire and Rescue Department was notified the fire at9:15 pm and it is believed a major oil spill had occurred.

It is learnt that the bulk carrier was coming into Port Dicksonfor repairs. The fire on the bulk carrier was put off by its crews and no one was injured.


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