Oil tanker fire in South Korea claims lives of two seafarers

Credit: ARUN SANKAR/AFP/Getty Images

The South Korean Coast Guard rescued crew from a fire that had broken out on the Taehwa 1Ho, an oil tanker in the early hours of the morning of the 20 March.

At around 05:38 local time a fire engulfed the 494 tonne tanker, 3 miles off the coast of Odong islet in South Jeolla province in Yeosu Bay, which was carrying around 5,000 tonnes of bunker fuel and 5,000 tonnes of heavy oil.

The Coast Guard swiftly sent a team to carry out a rescue mission for the 6 crew members onboard. However, 2 seafarers were found dead in the pilothouse. The remaining crew were unharmed aside from the chief engineer who was rushed to the nearest hospital to be treated for burns.

The oil tanker was on route to the port of Busan when the fire broke out. The cause of the fire is still unknown and the Korean Coast Guard are carrying out a full investigation into the incident.