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  Eight killed, six missing in shipping tragedies

    mercredi 13 avril 2005

Eight killed, six missing in shipping tragedies

(SINGAPORE) Eight people were killed and six were missing in two separate accidents involving a North Korean-registered cargo carrier and a Chinese freight ship. Eight sailors and two rescue divers were killed when the North Korean Lujin II broke up and sank in heavy storms off the Algerian coast, Algerian radio said on Tuesday.

Rescue services and coast guard officials, aided by helicopters, rescued 14 of the 22-member crew, after the 121-metre vessel hit a reef. It had been heading to the port of Bejaia, 250 km east of Algiers. The survivors, from Romania, Lebanon and Syria, were taken to local hospitals in the region. Two Algerians died in the rescue operation.

The ship’s main engine stalled and began drifting early on Monday when it was hit by storms and eight-metre-high waves in the Mediterranean sea near Algeria’s 335,000-barrels-per-day oil refinery port Skikda.

Meanwhile, six people are missing after a Chinese freight ship carrying seven crew members sank near Hong Kong, officials said yesterday. The accident occurred on Tuesday in Chinese waters near the island of Qing Zhou, located at the mouth of the Pearl River between Macau and Hong Kong, a duty officer at the marine department of the southern Chinese Guangdong province said.

Rescuers saved one crew member and are searching for the remaining people, he said, adding that the cause of the accident is being investigated. - AP, Reuters