6 Indians dead, 6 missing after two ships catch fire in Black Sea near Crimea

WION
New Delhi, Delhi, India Updated: Jan 23, 2019, 08:37 PM(IST)

Aerial view from a helicopter shows a rescue vessel during a fire-fighting operation following an accident involving two ships, which caught fire in the Kerch Strait, near the coast of Crimea. Photograph:( Reuters )

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Russian Maritime Agency and Maritime Rescue and Coordination Centre Novorossiysk is still continuing its effort to locate those still missing. 

The Ministry of external affairs has confirmed that six Indians died while 6 are still missing in the Crimea ship fire incident in Kerch Strait near Crimea, involving two ships -- Maestro and Candy. 

Of the six Indians who died 5 were from Candy while one was from Maestro, the ministry said. 

The victims have been identified as Pinal Kumar Bharatbhai Tandel, Vikram Singh, Sarvanan Nagarajan, Vishal Dod, Raja Debnarayan Panigrahi and Karankumar Haribhai Tandel. Those who still missing are Siddharth Meher, Neeraj Singh, Sebastian Britto Breezlin Sahayaraj, Rushikesh Raju Sakpal, Akshay Baban Jadhav, Anandasekar Avinash.

The ministry of external affairs in a release said, "We regret to inform that there have been causalities among Indian seamen working on these ships. We convey our deepest condolences to families of those deceased."

Russian Maritime Agency and Maritime Rescue and Coordination Centre Novorossiysk is still continuing its effort to locate those still missing. 

Four Indians -- Harish Jogi, Sachin Singh, Ashish Ashok Nair, and Kamleshbhai Gopalbhai Tandel -- were rescued. 

The blaze took place on Monday during fuel transfer from one ship to other, 16 miles off Russia's Krasnodar Krai at the entrance to the Kerch Strait.

The Director-General Communication Center, Indian Registry of Shipping, Mumbai is in touch with families of affected Indian seamen. Indian Registry of Shipping is making all arrangements for the repatriation of rescued seamen while Indian embassy in Moscow is making arrangements to bring back the bodies of the deceased, MEA said. 

The MEA has issued emergency contact number (007-9652773414) of the Embassy of India in Moscow. The number  (0091-22-22614646, 022 22610606) of Director General Communication Center, Indian Registry of Shipping has also been shared.

Meanwhile, the Investigation Committee of Russia has initiated a criminal case under Article 109 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (causing death by negligence). Russian authorities are providing assistance by the rescue ships Mercury and Demidov. 

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