(Change in death toll, Adds details)
SEOUL Jan 15 An explosion struck a cargo
ship carrying petroleum in waters off South Korea's western port
city of Incheon on Sunday, killing five people, the coast guard
said. Six crew were missing.
A Korea Coast Guard spokesman said the explosion on the
4,191-tonne freight ship, with 16 crewmen -- 11 Koreans and 5
Myanmarese -- on board, happened in waters north of Jawol Island
near Incheon. Five people, including the captain, were rescued.
At least two of the dead crewmen were Myanmarese, the
spokesman said. The coast guard was trying to identify the
bodies of the other crew.
A TV footage showed the explosion tore the ship almost into
two parts leaving it half-submerged. No oil leakage was
The ship was heading south to return to Daesan, another port
on the west coast, after unloading gasoline at the Incheon port.
The cause of the explosion was not known immediately but the
Yonhap news agency quoted the captain of the ill-fated vessel as
saying the blast had occurred while the crew was draining
gasoline vapors from an oil tank on the deck to remove residues.
He said that static electricity may have ignited the gas,
causing the explosion.
(Reporting by Sung-won Shim; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)