Chinese cargo vessel sinks near Andaman: Two feared dead

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Port Blair, Oct 03 (UNI) Chinese Cargo Vessel 'Heng Tai', with 28 crew on board had sunk in the Andaman Sea, nearly 200 miles southeast of Port Blair, the capital Island of Andaman and Nicobar Chain yesterday, officials said today.

Indian Coast Guard have confirmed rescue of 26 crew members, while two, believed to be dead, are still missing since the vessel sank yesterday morning at 0500 hours.

The vessel, having 26 Chinese crew and two Pakistani crew, was sailing towards Singapore from Haldia port near Kolkata, said Mr S P Sharma, the Inspector General of Coast Guard's Andaman and Nicobar Region, to newspersons this evening.

According to Coast Guard sources the two missing, believed dead are Mr Silahuddin and Mr Songlei of Pakistan and China respectively.

''We are searching for the missing crew, but likely to abondon the search by tonight,''Mr Sharma said.

The Chinese owned vessel 'Heng Tai', was carrying iron ore from India and had reportedly sent a distress signal at 0430 hrs after water flooded its chamber following a leakage.

The Distress Signal was picked up by Maritime Rescue Cordination Committee (MRCC), Port Blair unit, which together with Coast Guard monitored the rescue operation of the surviving crew.

UNI

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