Two Chinese sailors die, six missing after boat sinks in Pacific

Sun May 4, 2014 11:10pm EDT

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May 4 (Reuters) - Two Chinese sailors died and six are missing after their boat caught fire and sank in the Pacific Ocean, the U.S. Air Force said on Sunday.

The boat sank on Friday and the survivors were picked up by a Venezuelan fishing boat. Seven sailors were in good condition, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona said on its website.

Two of the Chinese sailors died of burns and two were critically burned, it said. Rescue teams from Davis-Monthan flew on Saturday to the Venezuelan vessel, about 1,100 nautical miles (2,050 km) west of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, to provide medical care.

Airmen parachuted into the water and used inflatable life rafts to reach the fishing vessel.

The injured sailors will be transported to Cabo San Lucas and then flown to California for treatment at the La Jolla Burn Facility, the website said.

The seven who were in good condition were transferred to a Chinese ship along with the bodies of the those who died. Details about the Chinese vessel that sank were not immediately available.

(Reporting by Sharon Bernstein; Additional reporting by David Schwartz; Editing by Matt Driskill)

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