Chinese Ship Sinks After Collision Off Denmark

June 2, 2003
COPENHAGEN -- A Chinese bulk carrier exploded and sunk following a collision with a Cypriot container ship in the Baltic Sea off the north coast of the Danish island of Bornholm Saturday, Denmark's Naval Operations Command (SOK) said.

The Chinese vessel, the 70,000-ton Fu Shan Hai, was rocked by a series of explosions caused by the 60,000-ton cargo of fertilizer it was carrying coming into contact with sea water, an SOK officer said.

All 27 crew were rescued from the sinking ship by Danish and Swedish marine forces at the scene, DPA reported.

Environmental vessels were on hand near the Fu Shan Hai, which had 1,600 tons of heavy fuel oil in its tanks, but no significant pollution was detected.

The Cyprus-registered Gdynia sustained only minor damage in the collision, and was able to continue its voyage to the polish port of Gdynia, the officer added.

No one was injured in the accident, which happened in clear weather, SOK said.

Marine authorities were investigating the cause of the collision.