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Sunday, Jun 1, 2014

Asia

Missing Japanese captain found dead after tanker blast

AFP | Sunday, Jun 1, 2014

This handout picture taken and released by Japan's Coast Guard on May 29, 2014 shows a Coast Guard boat (L) fighting a fire onboard the 998-tonne oil tanker Shoko-Maru (R) off the coast of Hyogo prefecture, around 450 kilometres (280 miles) west of Tokyo.

TOKYO - The missing captain of an oil tanker that exploded and sank off a Japanese port has been found dead, according to the coastguard.

Divers found a body in the ship's hold on Saturday and it was later confirmed as that of captain Masaichi Ando by his family, the coastguard said.

Ando, 64, had been missing since the nearly 1,000-tonne tanker, Shoko-maru, erupted in a fireball on Thursday.

It went down around 10 hours after the blast.

Seven of the eight Japanese crew were rescued, including one who remained unconscious with severe burns covering his entire body.

The fire was likely sparked as a crew member used a grinder to remove rust on the ship, Transport Minister Akihiro Ota told a press conference last week.

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