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US divers inspect stricken MOL tanker

US divers inspect stricken MOL tanker

Dubai: US navy diving experts have begun examining a Japanese oil tanker that was damaged in mysterious circumstances last week in the Strait of Hormuz, an English daily of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) reported Sunday.
The specialist diving team was dispatched to Fujairah, a member of the seven-strong federation UAE, to investigate the cause of the damage to the vessel, M. Star (pictured), which is anchored about 13 nautical miles (some 24 km) off the Fujairah port, The National said.
The oil tanker, owned by Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd., Japan, was travelling to Japan in the Strait of Hormuz Wednesday when an incident occurred, leaving the ship with a large dent in its side and blown out windows and buckled doors at deck level.
According to Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd., its crew heard an explosion and saw a flash of light. Experts have said the tanker, which was carrying 200,000 barrels of oil, may have collided with another vessel or a stray mine.
"A U.S. navy team is carrying out diving operations to determine the extent of the damage to the oil tanker," Lt. John Fage, a spokesperson for the U.S. navy's Bahrain-based fifth fleet, was quoted as saying.
The investigation is commissioned by Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd., he added. [02/08/10]

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