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  2 missing after fuel tanker sinks in central Philippines

    samedi 12 août 2006


(AP)

12 August 2006

MANILA, Philippines - Two tanker crewmen went missing after their vessel, which was carrying 2 million liters (528,360 gallons) of industrial fuel, sank in rough seas in the central Philippines, the coast guard said Saturday.

A passing boat, which was not immediately identified, rescued the 18 other crew members of the Solar I which sank Friday afternoon south of Guimaras Island, about 500 kilometers (312 miles) southeast of Manila.

The tanker sailed Wednesday from Limay town in northern Bataan province where it loaded the fuel to bring to Zamboanga city, about 860 kilometers (530 miles) south of Manila, coast guard spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Joseph Coyme said.

The tanker was battered by big waves as it passed through the Guimaras Strait, causing it to take on water.

The skipper ordered his crew to abandon ship when they could no longer pump out water flooding the tanker, which listed on its right side before sinking, Coyme said.

Search and rescue vessels scoured the area Saturday but found no sign of the two missing crewmen, Coyme said. Anticipating the tanker’s cargo to leak out, the coast guard said it will send an oil spill response team to the area.

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