At least 14 sailors have lost their lives after two Tanzanian-flagged commercial vessels caught fire in the Black Sea on Monday, January 12, 2019, said reports on Tuesday. The Russian news agencies informed that the two vessels were carrying 32 Indian, Turkish and Libyan crew members. Earlier it was reported that over 14 crew members were rescued, however, the latest reports corrected that only 12 members have been rescued so far. Meanwhile, five sailors are still missing and a search to locate them is still underway.
The reports said the two vessels, the Maestro and the Candy, caught fire in the near the Kerch Strait linking the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. It also separates Crimea from Russia. The Candy was carrying 17 members of the crew, including nine Turkish citizens and eight Indian nationals. On the other hand, the Maestro had a 15-member crew, including seven Turkish citizens, seven Indian citizens and an intern from Libya.
According to reports, the vessels caught fire while the fuel was being transported from one vessel to another. The fire started soon spreading, which made the crew members jump in the sea in a bid to rescue themselves.
The Russian navy has joined the rescue operation as two of the ships are deployed to search the missing sea. The bad weather condition was also impeding the rescue operation carried out by the authorities.