Sailors Flee Burning Oil Tanker Off Oman

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Shipping company says an explosion triggered a fire on the India-flagged crude carrier, and that search and rescue efforts were underway in the Gulf of Oman

At least four seafarers jumped at sea to escape a raging fire Tuesday on a very large crude carrier off the coast of Muscat operated by state owned Shipping Corp. of India Ltd. EQSCI 1.49%

A number of commercial ships were around the burning Desh Vaibhav and salvage crews looking for the sailors.

“It’s a serious blaze, but the rest of the crew escaped on a lifeboat,” one ship broker said.

SCI said in a statement three crew members were missing while a fourth one suffered burns and evacuated by helicopter. The remaining crew left the ship on a lifeboat.

It said the vessel suffered an explosion in one of its cargo tanks while en route to Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates.

“Assistance has been sought from the Oman Royal Navy and other ships in the vicinity,” SCI said. “The flames have subsided and a fire fighting vessel is expected to reach the tanker shortly to cool down the tanks.”

The ship is unladen, meaning any potential spill would be limited to the fuel on board powering the vessel.

The tanker was in the Gulf of Oman, about 450 miles southeast of the entrance to the Persian Gulf, according to tracking information at Vessel Finder.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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