Saturday, February 8, 2014

6 killed in Chinese fishing boat fire off Amami

Japan's Coast Guard says a Chinese fishing boat caught fire off the southern Japanese coast, killing 6 people. The vessel was in Japan's exclusive economic zone.

Chinese authorities said the incident occurred on Friday in waters about 280 kilometers west-northwest of Amami-Oshima Island in Kagoshima Prefecture.

A total of 24 people were reported to be on board the boat. The Coast Guard sent a patrol boat to the site at China's request to rescue 8 injured crew members.

Chinese authorities later told the Japanese officials that 6 of the injured had been confirmed dead and that another had survived with severe burns. The fire occurred in the ship's warehouse and was extinguished.

The Coast Guard says its patrol boat turned back before reaching the vessel after being told that another Chinese vessel sailing nearby was able to rescue the injured.

The fishing boat is still seaworthy and is believed to be returning to China.