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Freighter sinks in Singapore Strait after collision with chemical tanker; 6 still missing

SINGAPORE — A freighter bearing the Antigua and Barbuda flag sank in the Singapore Strait last night (Dec 16) after a collision with a Cayman Islands-registered chemical tanker.

Freighter sinks in Singapore Strait after collision with chemical tanker; 6 still missing

An Indonesia rescue team approaches the sunken Antigua and Barbuda flagged freighter MV Thorco Cloud which sank after colliding with a tanker the night before, in the Singapore Strait off the Indonesian island of Batam December 17, 2015 in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Photo via Reuters

SINGAPORE — A freighter bearing the Antigua and Barbuda flag sank in the Singapore Strait last night (Dec 16) after a collision with a Cayman Islands-registered chemical tanker.

Six out of 12 members of the freighter’s crew have been rescued, while search and rescue operations for the remaining freighter crew members are still on-going, said the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) in a statement past midnight today. There was no Singaporean crew member on either vessel.

The incident had occurred at 8.14pm in Indonesian waters, 11km north-west of Batam. The freighter, named “Thorco Cloud”, was carrying 560 metric tonnes of bunker fuel. The chemical tanker, named “Stolt Commitment”, sustained minor damage, but is in stable condition, said the MPA.

Two patrol craft were deployed by the MPA for search and rescue operations. The Police Coast Guard (PCG) also deployed five boats.

Indonesian authorities were also alerted of the incident by the MPA and have commenced search and rescue operations. The MPA is assisting the Indonesian authorities to survey and mark the sunken freighter to ensure navigational safety.

Five of the freighter crew members were rescued by the PCG, with the other crew member rescued by the chemical tanker.

Two Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) vessels were also dispatched. The SCDF has conveyed the six rescued crew members to Singapore General Hospital.

Meanwhile, the MPA has issued navigational broadcasts to vessels in the vicinity to keep clear of the area and to report any sightings of the missing crew members.

There is no disruption to shipping traffic or reports of any oil spills in the Singapore Strait currently, said the MPA. Still, the MPA has readied anti-pollution craft on standby.

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