Shoko Maru Oil tanker Explosion, captain missing, 4 crew severely burned

Shoko Maru, a Japanese oil tanker, has exploded near Himeli port (off Japan’s
south-west coast).Incident happened today at around 9:30 AM local time, four
crew members severely burned, the captain Of the vessel is missing. Japanese
coast guard says there were 8 people on board Shoko Maru . Rest three crew
members are in good health condition. Search for the captain is ongoing.

Explosion occurred when fire had erupted in the ship’s middle. After rescuing
persons onboard, the fire was extinguished by
Firefighting vessels. According to a spokesman with the coast guard, Koji
Takarada, the cause of the fire is unclear and is yet to be defined. It is known
that at the time of the blast, crew members were working on the Shoko Maru’s
deck. Vessel had unloaded its crude oil cargo and was positioned
Still close off the Hyogo prefecture coast (450 km west of Tokyo). An official
of the tanker’s owner, Syoho Shipping, said:

“The ship unloaded crude oil at a port in Hyogo prefecture and the tanker was
virtually empty when the accident occurred.”

He has confirmed the fate of the Shoko Maru’s captain was unknown.

“I heard that a crew member was using a grinder to remove paint seems as reason
for the blast, which we believe could have occurred when the remnants of the oil
caught fire.

“It is a Japanese ship and all the crew members are
Japanese nationals. We have confirmed seven out of the eight are alive and one,
believed to be the captain, is still missing,” he added.

Shoko Maru (IMO number 9124861 and MMSI 431400494) is a 998-ton vessel built in
1995. Owner of the 80-meter vessel is Syoho Shipping, based in Hiroshima.

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