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The fire on Monday night (January 21, 2019) of two ships carrying gas near the Kerch Strait in the Crimea , most likely caused 20 deaths, announced Russian authorities on Tuesday. The rescue teams saved 12 sailors and found 10 bodies, said Alexei Kravchenko, spokesman for the Russian federal agency for maritime and river transport .
Another 10 sailors are still missing and are supposed to have died, he said. “There is no hope of finding them alive. It is no longer a rescue operation, “he said, adding that the missing persons sank” before the eyes of the rescuers “without life jackets . The fire started at a time when they transferred fuel from one ship to the other, so both crews jumped overboard.
The boats Kandy and Maestro, of Tanzanian flag, have crews from India and Turkey . The Kandy had a crew of 17 members, and the Master of 15, according to the Russian authorities. “Our embassy in Moscow is in permanent contact with the Russian agencies concerned to obtain more information about the affected Indians and to provide the necessary assistance,” the Indian authorities said in a statement. According to Alexéi Kravchenko, the fire has not yet been extinguished. “There’s an infinite amount of fuel there,” he said. The place where the accident occurred is near the Kerch Strait, which has become a new source of tension between Russia and Ukraine .
In November,Russia fired and boarded three Ukrainian Navy vessels in this strait, sparking the first direct military incident between Kiev and Moscow since 2014, when Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula .
Source: El Comercio