Japanese, Philippine Ships Collide

Monday, April 17, 2006
A Japanese freighter and a Philippine container ship collided off Tokyo Bay on Thursday, causing the container ship to sink and forcing the evacuation of its crew, the Japan Coast Guard said. Visibility of less than 200 metres in thick fog appeared to be the cause of the crash, local media reported, quoting the coast guard. No casualties were reported, but the 25 Filipinos aboard the 6,182-ton Eastern Challenger were forced to abandon ship by lifeboat as their vessel went down. The 498-ton Japanese ship was able to harbour at the port, and its five crewmembers were safe. The Eastern Challenger was carrying steel and used cars from the Philippines, and the Tsugaru Maru was transporting animal feed to the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. The Filipino vessel suffered damage to the port side of its bow in the collision, but no major crude oil leak was detected in the ocean. Authorities are investigating the accident. The areas where the two freighters collided have about 500 vessels travelling through every day. (Source: www.khaleejtimes.com)

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