Panama tanker explodes off Shanghai; 2 missing

Updated: 2010-04-05 14:27
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12 saved, 2 missing as Panama tanker burns on Yangtze

SHANGHAI: The Ministry of Transport (MOT) said Monday 12 sailors of the wrecked Panama-flagged cargo ship were saved and the fire was under control.

The "Golden Crux 18" ship, with 14 crew on board, were sailing near the mouth of Yangtze River late last night when its engine room exploded suddenly.

Twelve sailors abandoned ship on life rafts after the fire spread uncontrollably while two others who were on duty in the cabin became trapped.

The East China Sea Salvage Bureau (ECSSB) sent a vessel to rescue the sailors the moment it received the alarm. Due to its efforts, 12 sailors were rescued around midnight.

The ECSSB said it would continue to search for the two missing sailors, both of whom are Filipinos.

The 12 rescued sailors are all from the the Philippines except one from Myanmar.

The Panamanian liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) tanker which was 95 meters long and 15 meters wide was on its journey from Nantong in Jiangsu Province to the Republic of Korea for LPG loading when the accident happened.

The cause of the explosion remains unclear.