Video: Explosion Breaks Chinese Tanker in Two
Chinese media is carrying a video of a search and rescue operation off the northern coast that is getting wide play on social media. The domestic tanker was torn apart by an explosion splitting the vessel in two just forward of the accommodation block. SAR officials are reporting that two crew members are missing but that 15 were successfully evacuated from the ship.
Local media reports are indicating that a fire of unknown origin broke out aboard the 10,500 dwt tanker named Hong Pu 6. The tanker, which was 394 feet long was sailing with only ballast between, which could mean the cargo tanks could have contained toxic, highly explosive vapors that could have been the cause of the explosion.
The tanker was sailing between the Chinese ports of Tianjin and Qingdao in Shandong province when the explosion occurred mid-day on January 10. The vessel was approximately 45 nautical miles southeast of Qingdao. The Shanghai Provincial Maritime Search and Rescue Center alerted the Beihai Rescue Bureau operated by the Ministry of Transport of the explosion.
A Beihai rescue boat reached the tanker and was able to evacuate 15 crew members as seen in the video. They were continuing to search for two missing individuals. At the last report, at least the stern section of the tanker is believed to still be afloat.