1 Dead After Oil Tanker Fire, Explosions off Hong Kong Coast

By Bryan Grogan, January 8, 2019

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One person is dead and two are missing after a fire broke out on an oil tanker one nautical mile south of Hong Kong’s Lamma Island on Tuesday, January 8. As of press time (5.28pm CST) 23 of the 26-strong crew on board the vessel have been rescued after jumping or falling into the sea when the blaze broke out. 

Four workers were injured in the fire, with three sent to Ruttonjee Hospital in Wan Chai for treatment, and another brought to the Intensive Care Unit of Queen Mary Hospital in Pok Fu Lam, according to Hong Kong Free Press

The fire broke at around 11.29am Tuesday morning as the tanker, named Aulac Fortune, was making its way around Hong Kong after unloading gasoline in Dongguan, Guangdong. A level three alarm was raised, with level five being the most severe. Police responded to the fire at 11.30am. Three fireboats also joined the fray and helped to put out the fire on the ship.

Map showing Aulac Fortune's position. Screengrab via Hong Kong Free Press

Three blasts were reportedly heard from the tanker, with residents as far away as Lantau Island hearing and feeling explosions, according to South China Morning Post

Waters around Hong Kong have a diversity of marine life, with sightings of whale sharks, dolphins and sharks not uncommon. The fire and explosions caused major damage to the ship, which appeared to have been leaking liquid from a large hole in the deck, according to CNN

[Cover image via 香港警察 Hong Kong Police/Facebook]

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