Posted on January 08, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis
Vietnamese oil tanker, Aulac Fortune, suffered a massive explosion off Lamma Island Anchorage, Hong Kong, at approximately 11:30 am local time in the morning of January the 8th.
The vessel was en route to Hong Kong from Dongguan, China at the time of the incident.
There was an estimated crew of 26 seafarers onboard the ship at the time of the explosion.
We don’t know yet what events led to the explosion, but the blast was so strong as to knock several crew members overboard.
Reportedly, according to local residents on nearby Lantau Island, over 10 km away, three consecutive blasts could be heard, which had many thinking it was an earthquake or a typhoon.
Following the explosion, the remaining seafarers on board the vessel chose to jump in the sea so as to protect themselves from the massive fire that ensued.
Local authorities rushed to the scene and launched a rescue operation that included several marine police vessels, three fireboats, and a government helicopter.
So far, they’ve managed to rescue 23 seafarers, four of which were sent to the Ruttonjee Hospital in Wan Chai for immediate medical treatment.
Unfortunately, 1 seafarer was found dead, and 2 more are still missing.
Firefighting crews managed to put the fire under control at approximately 3:42 pm local time, but the search & rescue operation is still ongoing in order to try and locate the missing crew members.