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Six Vietnamese fishermen missing as boat catches fire off S.Korea

Wednesday, November 20, 2019, 12:14 GMT+7
Six Vietnamese fishermen missing as boat catches fire off S.Korea
A fishing boat is ablaze off South Korea’s Jeju Island on November 19, 2019. Photo: Yonhap News Agency

Six Vietnamese and five Korean fishermen have gone missing after their boat caught fire off South Korea’s Jeju Island on Tuesday morning.

The inferno engulfed the 29-metric-ton ship as it was located about 76 kilometers west of the island at around 7:00 am (local time).

According to the Korea Coast Guard, six Vietnamese and six South Korean crew members were on board the ship at the time of the incident.

The Vietnamese fishermen are legal laborers sent to work in the East Asian country by four Vietnamese companies.

They have been residing in southeastern Busan City and near South Gyeongsang Province.

Rescuers were able to bring one Korean victim ashore, but doctors confirmed he had already passed away.

His body was found about 7.4 kilometers from the ship.

The other fishermen remain missing as of Wednesday morning.

Vietnam’s labor management board in South Korea have identified the Vietnamese victims as Nguyen Van Cong, 32, Nguyen Ngoc Loi, 24, Nguyen Tien Ninh, 32, Nguyen Van Thuy, 25, Nguyen Van Phuc, 31, and Nguyen Van Vien, 45.

Five of them hail from the north-central province of Quang Binh, while the other is from north-central Ha Tinh Province.

South Korean President Moon Jae In has ordered competent authorities to promptly search for the missing fishermen and inform their family members of the incident.

A total of eight coast guard ships, two naval vessels, six government ships, three fishing boats, and 11 helicopters have been mobilized to assist the search and rescue efforts.

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