Posted on January 22, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis
Fourteen people were killed and at least five are missing, following an explosion that occurred during a refuelling operation in the Black Sea.
The Tanzanian-flagged LPG tanker, Maestro, was engaged in STS operations with the Tanzanian-flagged LPG tanker, Kandy (Venice), at the time of the incident.
The two ships were anchored near the southern entrance to the Kerch Strait, well within international waters.
Following the explosion, several seafarers jumped in the sea in order to avoid the fiery inferno.
The ensuing blaze reportedly managed to set the other vessel on fire.
The Kandy originally had a crew of 17, 9 Turkish and 8 Indian nationals, while the Maestro had a total crew of 14, 7 Turkish and 7 Indian nationals.
Rescuers managed to pull 12 people from the water and recovered 11 bodies.
3 further bodies were spotted by the search and rescue teams but could not be recovered at the time.
Another 5 people are still missing, but local authorities are conducting a search in order to safely rescue the unfortunate seafarers.
The Kandy and the Maestro both appear on a US treasury list as possible targets for sanctions over petroleum shipments to Syria.
Allegedly Candy would collect fuel from Russian Ports (Including Crimea), while Maestro would act as a shuttle, transporting fuel into Syria.
The US originally tightened sanctions against Syria back in 2011, in response to President Bashar al-Assad's alleged atrocities against the Syrian people.