11 Dead after Ships Catch Fire; 15 Indians Among Crew
Two ships carrying Indian, Libyan, and Turkish crew caught fire off the Russian coast, killing at least 11 people, media reports said on Tuesday.
The fire broke out on Monday off Russia's territorial waters. Both vessels were flying Tanzanian flags. One of them was a liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier and another one was a tanker. The fire broke out as the two ships were transferring fuel from one to the other.
One of the ships, the Candy, had a 17-member crew, including nine Turkish citizens and eight Indian nationals.
The other one, the Maestro, had 15-member crew, including seven Turkish nationals, seven Indian citizens and an intern from Libya, Russian media quoted maritime authority as saying.
At least 11 sailors have died, Russian media said.
Severe weather conditions at sea have prevented rescue ships from taking victims to the shore for medical treatment, the report added.
The Kerch Strait is a key waterway that holds strategic importance for both Russia and Ukraine. It is an important economic lifeline for Ukraine that allows ships leaving the port city of Mariupol to access the Black Sea.