Empty Oil Tanker Catches Fire Near Cyprus; Crew Members Treated for Burns

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A Maltese-flagged oil tanker caught fire and ran aground near a fishing village, forcing several crew members to jump overboard, Cypriot authorities said Saturday [Dec. 29].

Cyprus’ Joint Rescue Coordination Center said the fire aboard the tanker Athlos was extinguished soon after it broke out. Five crew members were rescued from the water and taken to the hospital.
Three were later released, but remained for two serious burns.

The center said on Saturday that the empty tanker had a short break after an explosion and about 5.6 km from the town of Zygi in the port of Larnaca.

The ship is stranded 200 meters from the shore near Zygi.

The tanker, which had 17 crew members, including 7 Greeks, 9 Indians and one Georgian, was going to the Greek port of Aspropyrgos.

The authorities of Cyprus acted to contain possible contamination from the tanker.

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