Eight dead and two missing after cargo ship fire in Kaliningrad, Russia

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Sunday, June 8, 2008

Eight people are dead and two more are missing and presumed dead after an explosion and fire on a cargo ship undergoing repairs at a naval dockyard in Kaliningrad, Russia.

The container ship MV Yenisey was the scene of an explosion while in drydock at about 3:00 p.m. Moscow time (11:00 GMT). Ten people were missing after the explosion. It was confirmed today that the eighth body has been recovered, and the remaining two are thought to be dead as well. Three more were injured.

Captain 1st Rank Igor Dygalo, acting as a navy spokesperson, said "Each family of the victims of the fire on the Yenisey civilian vessel will be paid more than a million rubles." This makes their compensation roughly equivalent to US$43,000.

Dygolo said that the dockyard, in the closed military town of Baltiysk, near Kaliningrad, had been leased to the Yenisey's St Petersburg owner, a private company, who were conducting the work themselves. He said an investigation has been launched by the navy led by top admiral Vladimir Vysotsky.

Vysotski himself has indicated that serious safety legislation breaches concerning welding regulations by both the vessel's owner and the naval dockyard's bosses. He did not go into details, but RIA Novosti claimed that a source at the dockyard said a gas burner applied to the roof of a fuel tank to heat and therefore loosen its bolts had triggered the disaster.

Today is an official day of mourning for Kaliningrad Region to mark the deaths.


Sources

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