At least two sailors were feared dead after a Chinese vessel carrying oil sank Tuesday following a collision with a Norwegian ship in the Pearl River in south China, state media said.
The Dehang 298 and the Norwegian ship Bowcecil, which was carrying a cargo of chemicals, collided at around 2:10 a.m. (1810 GMT) in the mouth of the river near Hong Kong, said the Xinhua news agency.
The Dehang 298 sank and its crew of five sailors were thrown into the water, said the report, adding that three of the crew were later rescued while two others were still missing.
Xinhua said around 230 cubic meters of heavy oil began leaking into the sea from the Dehang 298 and authorities in Hong Kong, Macau and the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen had been alerted to combat the spill.
The report said the rescue and clean-up operation was still underway, and the Bowcecil had safely dropped anchor near the collision site.
Hong Kong's marine department confirmed the accident and oil spill, but said rescue and clean-up operations were being handled by China's southern Guangdong province.
"They are handling the case. They don't need our help," said spokesman Raymond Tam, adding that he had been given few details.
The oil spill had a "very slim chance" of affecting Hong Kong because it was relatively small, he said -- BEIJING (AFP)
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