Vietnamese oil tanker Aulac Fortune catches fire (Source: VNA)
 
Hanoi (VNA) – One Vietnamese sailor has died and two others are still missing after the Vietnamese oil tanker Aulac Fortune caught fire off the coast of Hong Kong on January 8, reported the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

There were 27 crew members on board, including 25 Vietnamese and two Hongkongers. Three other Vietnamese crew members were injured and sent to hospital. The remaining 19 are in safe conditions.

The incident occurred when the 17,500-tonne tanker was being refuelled by an oil barge.

Hong Kong authorities deployed three rescue vessels and three high-speed canoes to the scene to put out the flame.

The Vietnamese Consulate General in Hong Kong and Macao has asked Hong Kong authorities to conduct urgent search for the missing crewmen and offer medical treatment to the injured. The Consulate General is also working closely with agencies concerned and the vessel’s owner to deal with the case.

The foreign ministry assigned the consulate general to maintain close contact with the host authorities to update information and take necessary measures to protect the legitimate rights and interests of crew members.

It also required the Vietnam Maritime Administration and the Ho Chi Minh City Department of External Relations to complete procedures to bring home the body of the deceased, and offer assistance with visa applications for the vessel’s owner and the families of victims.

Vietnamese Consul General in Hong Kong Tran Thanh Huan visited the injured sailors in hospital and offered necessities and clothing to them.

Before the accident on January 8, the Aulac Fortune docked in Dongguan port in Guangdong, China before leaving at 6pm on January 7.

The Hong Kong side is investigating the specific cause of the incident. –VNA