13 sailors dead from apparent food poisoning on Chinese-flagged bulk carrier off Vietnam

Wu Zhou 8 (Photo: MarineTraffic.com/Preston Brook)

Vietnamese officials have confirmed the deaths of 13 crewmembers of a foreign-flagged cargo vessel after they reportedly suffered food poisoning late last week.

Authorities said the captain of the Chinese-registered bulk carrier Wu Zhou 8 sent a distress call requesting medical assistance for some of the crew who had fallen ill while their ship was en route from Thailand to China on the evening (local time) of Friday, September 30.

Helicopters were later sent to the area to evacuate the crew from the vessel, which was then underway in the Gulf of Thailand approximately 130 nautical miles south-east of Vung Tau.

Tragically, however, ten sailors were already dead by the time the helicopters arrived on-scene. Another two individuals died as they were being brought to hospital.

On Monday, October 3, Vietnamese officials reported that one crewmember died while undergoing treatment.

The remaining eight crewmembers of Wu Zhou 8 are still being treated in hospital, though officials said their condition is stable.

One of the surviving crewmen told investigators that he and his companions began experiencing symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhoea, and vomiting shortly after they consumed fish and vegetables for their evening meal on Friday.

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