HONG KONG – Rescue operations were underway after an oil tanker caught fire in Hong Kong’s southern waters on Tuesday, killing one crew member, while 21 others were rescued.
A handout picture of the Aulac Fortune, released by the Hong Kong Government Flying Service, showed the hull of the vessel emitting columns of black smoke.
Another picture showed a firefighting ship spraying the coastal oil tanker with water to douse the blaze.
“A chemical and oil tanker exploded on the south side of the Lamma island and 21 crew members were rescued by nearby vessels, but four crew members were still missing,” a statement by the Flying Service said.
“At 4:15 pm, the Government Flying Service sent two Super Puma AS332 L2 helicopters and nine crew members and one EC175 Cheetah helicopter and four crew members to the site for aerial search,” the statement said.
The Government Flying Service was notified of the explosion by the Hong Kong Maritime Rescue Centre at 11:56 am on Tuesday, and the first rescue helicopter arrived at the scene four minutes later.