Russia starts search for missing Indian sailors

Russian officials on Wednesday resumed search operation for sailors missing after two ships carrying Indian, Turkish and Libyan crew members caught fire in the Kerch Strait. Fourteen seafarers are believed to be killed in the mishap and the blaze was still raging, reports said. Though there was no information from Russia and Crimea about the identities of those killed and missing, Turkey said four of its nationals were killed, eight were rescued and four went missing after the fire.

Indian authorities earlier said the Indian embassy in Moscow was in constant touch with the Russian agencies to get more information on Indian nationals affected in the incident and to extend necessary assistance. Two ships carrying crew members from India and Turkey caught fire in the Kerch Strait separating Crimea from Russia. According to media reports, at least 11 people lost their lives in the mishap. The fire broke out on Monday off Russia's territorial waters. Both vessels were flying Tanzanian flags. One of them was a liquefied natural gas carrier and another one was a tanker.

Russian news agency Tass said the fire broke out as the two ships were transferring fuel from one to the other. One of the ships, the Candy, had a 17-member crew, including nine Turkish citizens and eight Indian nationals. "The other one, the Maestro, had 15-member crew, including seven Turkish nationals, seven Indian citizens and an intern from Libya," it quoted maritime authority as saying.