Sunday, January 15, 2012

Freight Vessel Explosion Kills Three with Other Crew of Cargo Ship Missing

Korean Coastguard Search for Survivors
Shipping News Feature

SOUTH KOREA – Reports are coming in of an explosion off the coast after a freight vessel sailing to the North of Jawol Island with a cargo of petroleum suffered an accident killing at least three of the crew. The vessel, the Doola 3, had sailed from the port of South Korea’s third largest city, Incheon en route for Daesan in South Chungcheong Province.

Coastguard and naval forces were despatched to the scene and five of the sixteen strong crew have been rescued. Two of the dead men recovered are known to be from the five Myanmar on board, the balance of the crew consists of Korean nationals and as yet the cause of the tragedy is not known.

As with any incident in these waters the immediate concern was whether there had been any North Korean involvement but the accident occurred far to the South of the border and the fact that the cargo was said by some sources to be petroleum, as opposed to the vessel’s normal load of diesel and heavy oil, has led to speculation that there was a chance that vapour leaking from the tanks may be the cause.

The search for survivors is being pursued but the bodies recovered were said to be in ‘poor condition’ indicating the strength of the explosion and the latest news is that the vessel is operated by Doola Shipping in Pusan and the crew were reported to be draining gas from a tank when the tragedy occurred.