At the fire scene (Source: taiwannews.com.tw)

Hanoi (VNA) –
The Vietnam Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei is actively coordinating with officials from China’s Taiwan to carry out search and rescue activities and update information on Vietnamese workers trapped in a fire in Taiwan on December 14.

Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam Le Thi Thu Hang made the statement at a regular press conference in Hanoi the same day in response to reporters’ queries about the accident which occurred in Taoyuan city.

Hang said after receiving the information, the Vietnam Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei sent officials to the scene and conducted all necessary citizen protection measures.

“We hope to receive more detailed information about the names of the victims at the end of this day”, she added.

According to preliminary statistics from Taiwan’s relevant agencies, as of noon on December 14, two out of the five injured Vietnamese workers were discharged from hospital while six others are still unaccounted for.

The Vietnamese spokesperson also answered reporters’ queries about the information that the Philippines has exhumed a cadaver that was supposed to be the remains of Pham Minh Tuan, captain of ship Royal 16, who was kidnapped in the Philippines on November 11, 2016.

The exhumation was made at the request from the Vietnamese Embassy in the Philippines, she said.

On December 8, the Philippine authorities conducted the exhumation in Jolo, the capital of Sulu province, in the Philippines.

The two countries’ relevant agencies are implementing DNA testing. If the remains are confirmed to be Tuan’s, Vietnamese authorities will carry out all necessary procedures to bring his body to home, Hang said.

Royal 16, with 19 crewmembers aboard, was carrying cement from Vietnam’s northeastern province of Quang Ninh to the Philippines when it was attacked by pirates.

The pirates kept six crew members, including the captain, as hostages and released the remainders.

Meanwhile, the Philippines authorities said Royal 16 was attacked by an armed group while sailing 20km off Basilan island, a bastion of the Abu Sayyaf rebel group.

Two crewmembers, including a wounded person, escaped and were rescued by another boat. The armed group ran away together with the hostages.

At the press conference, the Vietnamese spokesperson informed some external activities of Vietnam in the coming time.-VNA