Saturday, December 26, 2009

Sailors Missing After Ship Fire Off Venezuela

Six Filipino sailors and three Greek officers are missing following a fire on board a Greek cargo ship off the Venezuelan coast. The Greek government says it's not immediately clear how the fire started, but it spread rapidly after breaking out on Friday in the crew's cabins on the bridge of the Aegean Wind, which was carrying iron from Brazil to Houston, Texas.The Greek merchant shipping ministry says the missing sailors and officers were part of a total crew of 24 - nine from Greece and 15 from the Philippines. The Venezuelan authorities have sent two patrol boats and two helicopters to help the vessel, while a Dutch ship is also nearby, the ministry says. The Aegean Wind is owned by Atlantic Bulk Carriers, based in the Greek port of Piraeus, near Athens, and run by the shipping magnate George Koumantarou.

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