UpdateFive crew missing after chemical tanker explosion in Malaysia

26 July 2012 04:45  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Five of the 29 crewmembers of a fire-hit chemical tanker are still missing, hours after an explosion occurred at the ship docked at Labuan port in Sabah, Malaysia, early Thursday, ship owner MISC said.

The blaze broke out at the 38,000 deadweight-tonne chemical tanker Bunga Alpinia at 02:30 Malaysia time (18:30 GMT), the company said in a statement, confirming an earlier report by ICIS.

“The vessel was alongside the PETRONAS Methanol terminal in Labuan when the incident took place,” MISC said.

The ship is believed to be carrying methanol, shipping sources said.

Malaysian oil and gas major PETRONAS owns a majority stake in MISC.

“No further details of the incident are available at this point in time. All authorities have been notified accordingly and we are working closely to render the necessary assistance,” the shipping firm said.

Among the 29 crew members of Bunga Alpinia, 23 are Malaysians and six are Filipinos, it said.

“At present, 24 have been safely brought ashore whilst five are still unaccounted for,” the company added in a statement.

PETRONAS Methanol Labuan runs two methanol units – a 660,000 tonne/year No 1 unit and a 1.7m tonne/year No 2 unit – off the cost of Sabah in eastern Malaysia.

Additional reporting by Liu Xin and Hazel Kumari

By: Nurluqman Suratman

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