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Hope dwindles for nine missing crew on Malacca Straits collision tanker

Hope dwindles for nine missing crew on Malacca Straits collision tanker

Kuala Lumpur: Search and rescue personnel working to locate the nine missing crew of the Cargill-chartered tanker MT Formosa Product Brick feel that that the chances are slim for finding the men alive.

The nine Chinese nationals were believed to have been in the engine room of the Liberian registered tanker when it collided with Greek bulk carrier MV Ostende Max in the Malacca Straits on Tuesday night. The tanker, which was carrying 58,000 tons of naphtha, caught fire, thereby hampering the search efforts of rescue workers for over 24 hours.

Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency director First Admiral Tan Kok Kwee told the Star that there was no sign of the missing crew despite search and rescue efforts being intensified in the Malacca Straits."We began our search and rescue operations at 7am today but have yet to find any of the missing crewmen," he is quoted as saying.  

He added that the blaze on the tanker was completely put off at 4.30am yesterday. "Tugboats are still spraying water to cool it down. We can still feel the heat despite being a distance away," he said.  [21/08/09]