Burnt remains of all Taiwan tanker crew found: police

August 24, 2009

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) – Malaysian police Sunday ended search and rescue efforts on a stricken Taiwanese oil tanker involved in a collision in the Malacca Strait after the burnt remains of all its missing crew were found.

The MT Formosa Product Brick tanker caught fire and was seriously damaged Tuesday after a collision with a Greek-managed bulk carrier in the narrow shipping lane, with burnt bone fragments of two of the nine missing Chinese sailors found on Saturday.
“We have ended all search and rescue efforts as the remains of all nine Chinese crew members have been found,” Rizal Ramli, marine police chief in Port Dickson, told AFP.
The accident happened off Port Dickson in Negeri Sembilan state, south of Kuala Lumpur.
“We only found bones as the fire was so hot that most of the bodies were incinerated beyond recognition,” he added.
“The nine individual remains have been taken to a nearby hospital in order to help identify each individual crew member.”
The tanker was carrying naphtha, a flammable liquid mixture of hydrocarbons distilled from petroleum, coal tar and natural gas. It is used as fuel, a solvent and in the making of some chemicals.
Maritime authorities have already interviewed the Chinese captain of the tanker and the Polish captain of the bulk carrier, saying investigations were continuing, the Star daily reported.
Environmental officials have said there was no leakage of naphtha despite the accident, which had caused the tanker to list on its left side, according to the paper.
At least 94,000 ships sail the Malacca Strait each year, making it one of the busiest waterways in the world.