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Ship collision kills two sailors
By Li Wenfang (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-01-28 00:59

GUANGZHOU: Two sailors are dead, two are missing and nine were saved after an oil vessel sank after a collision with a cargo ship off the coast of Shantou in South China's Guangdong Province.

A maritime helicopter returns after searching sailors. [newsphoto]
Efforts to find the missing sailors are continuing and work on cleaning up the leaking oil has started, but the size of the oil-affected area is still unknown, an unnamed spokesman for the Shantou Maritime Safety Administration told China Daily yesterday.

The oil vessel, "Minghui 8," collided with "Minhai 102" about 2 am on Wednesday when it was about 7.5 nautical miles east of Nan'ao Island, of Shantou, as it was heading from East China's Fujian Province to Shantou.

The ships belong to a company in Wuhan, Central China's Hubei Province, and a company in Fujian Province.

The 53-metre"Minghui 8," which contained 975 tons of diesel, sank about 10 minutes after the collision, with all of its 13 crew members still on board.

The 63-metre, unloaded "Minhai 102" was damaged, but not seriously.

Crew on board managed to save one sailor from the sunken vessel.

A helicopter based in Xiamen in Fujian Province flew to the area, found the two bodies and airlifted an injured sailor to hospital.

At least six ships have been involved in the search, rescue and oil cleaning-up job. Ships near the site were also called for help.

A modified ship is expected to arrive from Shanghai today, to help pump oil out of the sunken vessel.

The oil spill is expected to have an impact on fishing in the area.

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