Fourteen killed after two tankers catch fire in Kerch Strait
FOURTEEN crew members were killed and five were missing off Russia-annexed Crimea in the Black Sea after a fire engulfed two Tanzanian-flagged gas tankers
22 January 2019 - 19:00
A spokesman for Russia's Federal Agency for Maritime and River Transport, Alexei Kravchenko, said: 'There are 11 bodies. Another three people went under water before rescue workers' eyes. Those three are most likely dead.'
Twelve people had survived, Mr Kravchenko said, but 'no one knows where the other five people are'.
The two tankers, the Kandy and the Maestro, had crews of nationals from India and Turkey. The Kandy had a 17-strong crew, while the Maestro carried 14 people, according to UK's Telegraph.
The fire broke out when one vessel was transferring fuel to another in the Kerch Strait connecting the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. The Kerch Strait has become a new flashpoint in tensions between Russia and Ukraine. In November, Russia fired on and seized three Ukrainian navy vessels in the Kerch Strait as they tried to pass from the Black Sea to the Azov Sea.
The confrontation was the first open military clash between Kiev and Moscow since 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea and a pro-Russian insurgency erupted in eastern Ukraine.
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