2 ships catch fire in Black Sea, at least 3 sailors die

January 21, 2019 - 12:24 pm

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's state maritime agency says that a fire on two Tanzanian-flagged commercial vessels has killed at least three sailors.

The Federal Agency for the Sea and River Transport said the blaze erupted Monday while fuel was being pumped from one vessel to another. It spread from one ship to the other, prompting their crews to jump overboard, according to Russian news agencies.

They quoted the federal maritime agency as saying that the two vessels had a total number of 31 crew members. Salvage teams have rescued eight crew members and recovered three bodies and the search for those still missing is underway.

The fire erupted while the two vessels were near the Kerch Strait linking the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.

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