18 injured in an explosion followed by a fire on an oil tanker in South Korea

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — A huge explosion on an oil tanker at a South Korean port on Saturday set fire to a nearby ship and injured 18 people, authorities said.

The blast sent a ball of fire over the oil tanker and thick smoke. Firefighters are struggling to contain the fire by spraying it from a nearby ship in the southeastern port of Ulsan.

The coastguard confirmed the rescue of 25 people aboard the oil tanker flying the flag of the Cayman Islands and 21 people aboard the second vessel, explaining that investigations have begun to determine the cause of the explosion.

South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said 12 sailors and six rescuers were injured. A previous toll had only 12 wounded. At least nine of the injured were from South Korea.

The deputy consul of Russia in Busan Yevgeny Yevdokimov said the crew of the oil tanker is composed of 10 Russians, including the captain, “and none of them were seriously injured.”

“Some of them received medical assistance at the scene but no Russian was taken to hospital,” Ivdokimov told the Russian news agency TASS.

“There was no maintenance or loading work at the time of the explosion,” he said, adding that “something on the ship’s cargo was the cause of the explosion and the fire.”

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