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Monday, August 24, 2009

Malacca collision: Nine charred remains found over the weekend

Kuala Lumpur:  Malaysian rescuers recovered the charred remains of nine Chinese sailors who went missing after an oil tanker caught fire after colliding with another vessel, a marine official said Sunday. The bodies of two crew members trapped in the Liberian-registered Formasaproduct Brick were found Friday and another seven on Saturday, First Adm. Tan Kok Kwee of the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency said. The tanker was carrying more than 50,000 tons of naphtha from the United Arab Emirates to South Korea when a Britain-registered bulk carrier rammed into its rear late Tuesday in the Malacca Strait, one of the world's busiest shipping lanes. Firefighters took more than 30 hours to put out the blaze. Rescue efforts were hindered by rough sea conditions and salvage work to stabilize the ship, officials said. Tan said there was no spillage and marine authorities would assess the damage before releasing the vessel. Accidents in the Malacca Strait, which separates peninsular Malaysia from Indonesia's Sumatra island, are rare even though some 70,000 vessels use the waterway annually. Traffic was not affected by the collision and fire. [24/08/09]