A tanker carrying 13.3 million liters of industrial ethanol exploded and sank about 80km off the Virginia coast, the Coast Guard said. At least three of the 27 crew members died and most of the others were missing.
Two people died among the eight transported by helicopter to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, spokeswoman Vicky Gray said. The other six men were being evaluated, she said.
Toni Keiser, a spokeswoman for Atlantic General Hospital in Berlin, Maryland, said a dead man from the tanker was brought to the hospital and that two rescue divers were treated and released there for minor injuries.
The Bow Mariner, a 171m tanker flying a Singapore flag, made an emergency call just after 6pm, saying there had been an explosion on board, said Petty Officer Stacey Pardini of the Coast Guard Atlantic area in Portsmouth, Virginia.
The explosion occurred about 80km east of Chincoteague, Virginia, after a fire started on the deck of the ship, said Lieutenant Chris Shaffer of Ocean City (Maryland) Emergency Services.
"When the rescue divers got on the scene the fuel tanker was on fire, sinking and there was people in the water," Shaffer said. He added that the six survivors rescued were in critical condition.
Three helicopters, three Coast Guard boats and a C-130 plane were searching for survivors.
Coast Guard Senior Chief John Moss said late Saturday night that nine crew members were accounted for, including seven survivors. One survivor was picked up by a commercial fishing boat, he said.
"We have no indication that this was anything other than an accident at this point," Moss said, adding that he didn't know what caused the explosion.
Moss said the Coast Guard did not know how much of the ethanol was released into the water.
Betty Turner, a nursing supervisor at Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury, Maryland, said her hospital had been notified to expect a victim who may have suffered burns.
The ship is a chemical tanker, built in 1982 and owned by a Greek company, Ceres Hellenic Shipping Enterprises Ltd. A company spokesman confirmed the ship had a crew of 27 and said "there is no information yet on their fate."
‘TRAVEL FREELY’: Visitors from 10 countries deemed low-risk would be allowed into Thailand, while others must still undergo a week of quarantine at a hotel Thailand plans to fully reopen to vaccinated tourists from countries deemed low risk from Nov. 1, the country’s leader said on Monday, citing the urgent need to save the kingdom’s ailing economy. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Thailand attracted nearly 40 million visitors a year drawn to its picturesque beaches and robust nightlife, with tourism making up almost 20 percent of its national income. However, pandemic-related travel restrictions have left the economy battered, contributing to its worst performance in more than 20 years. Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha announced that the country would be reopening its borders to vaccinated tourists travelling by air from
Vaccination is highly effective at preventing severe cases of COVID-19, even against the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2, a vast study in France has shown. The research published yesterday — focusing on prevention of severe COVID-19 and death, not infection — looked at 22 million people over 50 and found those who had received jabs were 90 percent less likely to be hospitalized or die. The results confirm observations from the US, the UK and Israel, but researchers say it is the largest study of its kind so far. Looking at data collected starting in December last year, when France launched its vaccination campaign,
Australia’s highest court yesterday dismissed an intellectual freedom claim by a university physicist who was fired in part over his public statements that scientists exaggerated damage to the Great Barrier Reef. Five High Court judges unanimously dismissed physicist Peter Ridd’s claim that he had been unlawfully dismissed in 2018 by James Cook University in Townsville, Queensland. The court ruled that a clause in his employment contract that protected his intellectual freedom was not a “general freedom of speech” clause and did not protect him from being fired for serious misconduct under the university’s code of conduct. Australian Minister for Education Alan Tudge said
South Korea yesterday said that it would lift COVID-19 restrictions on social gatherings next week as the country prepares to switch to a “living with COVID-19” strategy amid rising vaccination levels. A new panel established this week is drawing up a plan for a gradual lifting of curbs, aiming to lift restrictions and reopen the economy next month on the expectation that 80 percent of the adult population will be fully vaccinated. From Monday, the South Korean government is to allow gatherings of up to four unvaccinated people and ease operating-hour restrictions imposed on venues such as restaurants, cafes and cinemas, South