18 May 2009

Fire on tanker carrying oil off Pengerang

A tanker carrying about 2,000 tonnes of used oil from Indonesia to Singapore caught fire on 18 May (Mon). The ship had moored about 3.3 nautical miles off Pengerang, Kota Tinggi since four days ago.
According to the vessel’s captain, the fire started in the kitchen area and was fanned by the windy weather. Other reports say there was a small explosion prior to thick black smoke being emitted from the rear of the vessel. The fire was doused by heavy rain shortly after it broke out.

"There is a slight oil spill but the situation is not critical or dangerous," said District police chief Superintendent Osman Sebot.

The tanker, which was damaged at its rear, would be towed back to Singapore soon.

The tanker, named Vertex, is registered in San Lorenzo Honululu, Hawaii, and is owned by a company based in Singapore.

15 of the 17 crew members jumped ship and were rescued. But two other crew members are still missing.

This is the third sea tragedy in the area since April 28 when six Pakistanis drowned after their vessel capsized. On May 13, a fibreglass boat with about 30 people sank in the same waters on May 13, only seven bodies were recovered from that tragedy.

Full articles on the wildsingapore news blog.

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