Saturday, February 17, 2007
An ammonia gas leak on a South Korean fishing vessel anchored in Uruguay killed five sailors, including a Vietnamese. Eight other Vietnamese sailors were among the 24 people who collapsed during the accident, including rescue workers, the Vietnam News Agency reported. They were in intensive care in various hospitals in the capital Montevideo. The Vietnamese Embassy in Argentina had sent an official to Montevideo to assist its nationals. The newspaper quoted the Uruguayan media as saying the vessel, Bang Joo 7 (Sea World 101), had arrived in Montevideo Tuesday to unload frozen squid and acquire supplies and had scheduled to leave for the South Atlantic Thursday.The leak of ammonia gas, which is used for refrigeration, had occurred mid-afternoon Wednesday. Uruguayan authorities said the origin of the leak had not been determined, adding they were focusing on rescuing the crew first. If there was a risk of further leaks, the vessel would be tugged out of Montevideo, they said.