Kerch Strait Fire: Most Of The 15 Indians Onboard The Ships Safe, Claims Directorate General of Shipping
Kerch Strait Fire: Most Of The 15 Indians Onboard The Ships Safe, Claims Directorate General of Shipping Candy and Maestro that caught fire near the Kerch Strait (Pic: Twitter)

Most of the 15 Indian seafarers who were on-board the two ships that caught fire off the Russian waters in Kerch Strait on 21 January, have survived the accident, PTI has quoted officials from the Directorate General of Shipping (DGS) as saying.

The sailors hail from different parts of the country, but more details on them are awaited owing to the limited information flow from the area. Fourteen sailors have reportedly perished in the accident.

Dozens of vessels are looking for survivors in the vicinity of the accident site but the wreckage is very scattered, a senior DGS official has been quoted saying in the report.

"Some of our sailors have contacted their families back home about making it, while a few have been rescued after they jumped out of the blazing ships," the official said.

The DGS is also in touch with both the external affairs ministry, which is coordinating with the embassy in Moscow, and the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre, which is in contact with its Russian counterparts.

The incident took place off Russia’s coast, with the strait also housing the closest point of access for Russia to Crimea, a peninsula Moscow annexed in 2014. One of the ships was carrying liquefied natural gas and the other was a tanker and the fire broke out when the ships were transferring fuel.

One ship named ‘Candy’ had a 17-member crew among which eight were Indians and the rest were Turkish. The other ship named ‘Maestro’ carried a 15-member crew having seven Indians, seven Turkish and an intern from Libya, Russian news agency TASS quoted the maritime authority as saying.

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