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The Aulac Fortune, of Vietnamese flag and with a crew of 26 sailors, was engulfed in flames while refueling. The authorities maintain that there was no spill, since the ship had no cargo. Rescue operations continued
One person died, two are still missing and four were injured on Tuesday after a tanker sailing through the waters of Hong Kong exploded and was engulfed in flames, police said.
The rescuers were able to rescue 23 people who managed to jump into the water when the fire started, said a police spokesman of the former British colony.
Four people suffered burns, said police, who released a photo of the burning tanker, and one of them is in serious condition. Meanwhile, two other sailors remain missing.
The Aulac Fortune fire was triggered by an explosion when the ship was loading fuel for its engines south of the island of Lamma, located southwest of the island of Hong Kong.
“I heard several noises of explosion and crackling,” said an inhabitant of the town of Mo Tat.
The Aulac Fortune is a 17,000-ton oil tanker under the Vietnam flag that sailed from the Dongguan industrial port on Monday in southern China and was destined for Thailand, according to the site MarineTraffic.com .
Several fire-fighting ships and a helicopter were involved in relief operations, the South China Morning Post reported, which is still ongoing.
It was feared by a possible ecological disaster in this congested seaway that is also home to numerous marine species, especially porpoises and turtles, although the authorities assure that there was no oil spill, since the ship was not loaded at the time of the accident .
Although the experts asked for caution, since the situation has just begun and the details are still unknown.