Friday, December 08, 2006
A crew of eight Chinese have been rescued unhurt after a fire broke out on a Cambodian-registered freighter in the Pacific off Izu-Oshima Island some 120 kilometers south of Tokyo, Japan Coast Guard officials said. The 1,195-ton Sakurakawa was still ablaze more than 10 hours after a load of scrap steel caught fire at around 11 p.m. in waters some 3 km north of Izu-Oshima. Friction in the scrap steel may have generated a fire, the coast guard said.
SakurakawaThe coast guard is facing difficulties putting out the fire quickly because it is pumping water out of the ship to prevent it from sinking, the officials said. To clear the way for other vessels, the freighter was being towed by a patrol boat after fire fighting had been suspended. After receiving an emergency message from the ship, the coast guard sent out patrol boats and helicopters to rescue the crew and put out the fire, the officials said. The freighter was en route to China after loading some 800 tons of scrap steel at Tokyo Port, they said.