Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 February 2020

Two Indian technicians killed in Sharjah oil tanker fire are identified

Authorities awaiting forensic reports to confirm the identities of two other men who died in the blaze

Four people were killed in an oil tanker fire off the coast of Sharjah. Courtesy:Wam
Four people were killed in an oil tanker fire off the coast of Sharjah. Courtesy:Wam

Two Indian technicians, who were among four people killed in an oil tanker blaze off the coast off Sharjah, have been formally identified.

Basudeb Harder from West Bengal and Siva Naga Babu from Andhra Pradesh, were named by Indian consular officials on Wednesday.

They were aboard the Panamanian-flagged tanker, MT Sam, which was about 30 kilometres off the country's coast between Sharjah and Abu Musa Island in the Arabian Gulf, when a fire broke out on January 29.

Two people remain missing. The vessel was carrying 12 crew members and 44 technicians from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Ethiopia and Uganda.

“Once the forensic reports are completed, the bodies of the two Indians who have been identified will be repatriated home,” said Indian Consul General Vipul. “We are hoping we can send [them] back home in the next few days,” he said.

The names of the rest of the killed men have not been disclosed at this stage.

Forensics reports are awaited to confirm the nationality of the other two technicians who died.

The Federal Transport Authority said rescue teams and the UAE Coast Guard had responded as soon as they received a distress call from the ship.

Officials said rescue teams had worked to evacuate the vessel and extinguish the fire.

The tanker has a capacity of 2 million barrels of crude oil but not loaded, authorities said.

The UAE’s National Media Council has said an investigation is under way to determine the cause of the fire.

Updated: February 5, 2020 05:08 PM

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