11 dead as two ships with Indian, Turkish crew catch fire in Kerch Strait

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At least 11 people were killed after two Tanzanian-flagged cargo vessels carrying Indian and Turkish crew members caught fire in the Kerch Strait separating Crimea from Russia, media reports said on Tuesday.

According to the sources, the fire erupted on Monday off Russia’s territorial waters while fuel was being pumped from one tanker to another. The blaze spread from one ship to the other, prompting the several crew members to jump overboard.

The ships had crews of 31 people in total – 16 Turkish citizens and 15 Indian nationals.

Rescuers pulled 12 people alive from the water and recovered 11 bodies, reports said.

The Russian navy has joined the rescue operation, deploying two of its ships.