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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 September 2018

Explosion on UAE-bound Indian oil tanker near Oman

Three sailors are missing, and one crew member was airlifted with burn injuries

The Gulf of Oman is a regular shipping route for oil tankers. Bloomberg
The Gulf of Oman is a regular shipping route for oil tankers. Bloomberg

Three sailors were injured on Tuesday in an explosion on an Indian crude oil tanker off the coast of Oman, the company said.

The Shipping Corporation of India says the tanker was en route to Fujairah when the explosion struck the MT Desh Vaibhav in the Gulf of Oman. The vessel started its journey in Sikka, India.

One crew member suffered burns in the blast and was airlifted by helicopter. The Omani navy and other ships responded to the fire.

Three crew members are being treated at an Omani hospital and are responding well to treatment, hospital sources said.

“Three sailors of this vessel were picked up from the sea by other vessels that were sailing past and now they are being treated here in Oman,” a ministry of health spokesman told the National.

In a stock disclosure filed by the shipping company, they said: "the fire has been extinguished and the ship is fully manned and operational".

The Omani coastguard official said that the vessel has already left Omani waters and he believed it has been docked in the UAE’s Fujairah early Wednesday morning. The vessel started its journey in Sikka, India.

“As far as we are concerned, the vessel has been seaworthy just hours after the explosion and set sail towards the UAE. The Omani navy helped with the fire,” the coastguard said.

The identities of the nationals are unknown and a company spokesman declined to comment, as did Omani officials and the Indian embassy in Muscat.

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