One dead in oil tanker blaze off Hong Kong

A photo from the Hong Kong Police shows smoke rising from an oil tanker as it tilts to one side. (Hong Kong Police/AFP)
Updated 08 January 2019
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One dead in oil tanker blaze off Hong Kong

  • Twenty-one people have been rescued after those on the vessel either fell or jumped into the sea
  • A number of the victims had suffered burns

HONG KONG: At least one person has died after an oil tanker caught fire off Hong Kong on Tuesday, police said, sending a huge cloud of dark smoke billowing into the air.
Twenty-one people have been rescued after those on the vessel either fell or jumped into the sea, according to a police spokesperson, but it is not yet clear if more people are still missing. A number of the victims had suffered burns.
In a picture posted by the Hong Kong Police, the tanker was seen listing sharply with large plumes of black smoke coming from its middle and flames still burning on the deck.
Officers said they received a report of an oil tanker exploding and catching fire in waters south of the outlying Lamma Island.
“I heard several banging and rumbling sounds, like someone with big hands knocking my glass door,” a resident of Lamma Island’s Mo Tat New Village who gave his name as Shu said.
He added that a smaller banging sound followed about 10 seconds later.
Photos on local news site Apple Daily showed an orange blaze on the ship which was also belching out heavy smoke.
The name on the front of the tanker was Aulac Fortune, which the Hong Kong marine department tracker website showed as arriving at the South Lamma anchorage at 2.58am Tuesday local time.
The MarineTraffic.com website listed the tanker as registered in Vietnam and leaving the southern Chinese industrial city of Dongguan on Monday.
Authorities have dispatched marine police vessels, fireboats and a helicopter in an ongoing rescue operation, the South China Morning Post reported.


Russia, China block UN from saying North Korea violated sanctions

Updated 2 min 33 sec ago
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Russia, China block UN from saying North Korea violated sanctions

  • US and another 25 countries accused North Korea of breaching sanctions
  • Pyongong has an annual limit for importing refined petroleum products

UNITED NATIONS: UN diplomats say Russia and China have blocked the UN Security Council committee monitoring sanctions against North Korea from declaring that Pyongyang breached the annual limit for importing refined petroleum products.
Two diplomats said Tuesday that the Russians and Chinese notified the committee before Tuesday’s deadline for objections.
The United States and 25 other countries accused North Korea of violating UN sanctions by importing far more than the annual limit of 500,000 barrels of refined petroleum products.
The diplomats spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.
A complaint asked the sanctions committee to rule that Pyongyang breached the refined petroleum products cap and demand an immediate halt to deliveries.