1 Dead, 14 Missing in Ship Sinking Off Philippines

February 20, 2013

A China-bound Myanmar ship carrying 24 crewmen and a cargo of coal has sunk off the northwestern Philippines, leaving one dead and 14 others missing, Filipino coast guard officials said Sunday.

Philippine coast guard spokesman Armand Balilo said nine crewmen, including two who were injured, were rescued aboard two lifeboats by a passing Chinese ship after the M/V Harita Bauxite sank late Saturday off Pangasinan province. The Chinese ship notified Philippine authorities about the sinking of the vessel, whose entire crew was from Myanmar.

Coast guard officer Joseph Paul Solomon said coast guard vessels and helicopters immediately launched a search for the missing crewmen. A coast guard helicopter brought the two injured crewmen to a hospital in the northern Philippines, while seven other crewmen were transferred from the Chinese ship to a Filipino rescue vessel, Solomon said.

The Bauxite, which came from Indonesia, stalled due to engine trouble before sinking off Pangasinan, about 200 kilometers (131 miles) northwest of Manila, Balilo said.

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