Five Sailors Killed in S. Korean Ship Explosion

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An explosion strikes a ship carrying petroleum off the coast of South Korea, killing five people. Six crew members are still missing.

An explosion struck a cargo ship carrying petroleum in waters off South Korea's western port city of Incheon on Sunday, killing five crew.

According to the coast guard, six crew are still missing.

The 4000-ton freight ship was manned by 11 Koreans and 5 Burmese nationals.

Five people, including the captain, were rescued.

The explosion tore the ship almost into two parts leaving it half-submerged.

No oil leakage was reported.

The cause of the explosion is not yet known but the Yonhap news agency quoted the captain of the vessel as saying the blast had occurred while the crew was draining gasoline vapors from an oil tank on the deck to remove residues.

He says static electricity may have ignited the gas, causing the explosion.

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