Officials in Hong Kong have confirmed that one person was killed and six others suffered varying degrees of injury following an explosion and a subsequent fire on board a foreign-owned product tanker in the Taiwan Strait on Saturday, April 16.
The Panamanian-flagged Chuang Yi was 170 nautical miles east-south-east off the coast of Hong Kong when the incident occurred at around 16:05 local time on Saturday.
Some of the tanker’s crew were able to extinguish the blaze as Hong Kong-based rescue helicopters were despatched to the area to evacuate any personnel to safety. Tragically, one crewman had already succumbed to his injuries by the time the first helicopter arrived on-scene.
The six surviving sailors were later brought to shore to undergo medical treatment. Three are reportedly in serious condition due to severe burn injuries.
Officials are currently investigating the probable cause of the explosion as operations are underway to determine whether the incident resulted in any oil spills in the surrounding waters.
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