Russia: 2 ships catch fire in Black Sea, 10 sailors dead

January 21, 2019 - 12:44 pm

MOSCOW (AP) — Two Tanzanian-flagged commercial vessels caught fire in the Black Sea, leaving at least 10 sailors dead, Russian officials said. Seven sailors were still missing.

The Federal Agency for the Sea and River Transport said the blaze erupted while fuel was being pumped from one vessel to another. The fire 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, citizens of Turkey and India. Salvage teams have rescued 14 crew members and recovered 10 bodies, the maritime agency said, adding that the search for the seven sailors still missing is underway.

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

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