The fire in the Kerch Strait is a tragedy that claimed the lives of sailors.
According to official data, 14 people died and 3 people are considered missing. All of them are citizens of Turkey and India.
Fire in the Kerch Strait
The fire in the Kerch Strait has become one of the most talked about tragic events of early 2019. On January 21, a fire broke out on the ships "Maestro" and "Candy". This happened during the transfer of fuel from one vessel to another. Both ships left the port of Temryuk in the Kuban.
The incident took place outside the territorial waters of Russia. Both ships flew the flag of Tanzania and caught fire in the neutral waters of the Black Sea on their way to the Kerch Strait. Currently, the Investigative Committee of Russia has opened several criminal cases. Experts note that the causes of the incident could be illegal transportation of fuel, violation of safety measures when reloading fuel from one side to another.
It is already known that "Maestro" and "Candy" were in an illegal parking lot while pumping liquefied gas. The fire started on the Maestro gas carrier, but very quickly the fire moved to the second vessel and an explosion occurred.
It was established that both vessels belong to the owner from Turkey and are included in the US sanctions list and Crimea's "black list". Violation of international law is one of the reasons for what happened, according to some experts. The embargo was imposed, as both vessels previously supplied fuel to Syria.
How many people died
At the time of the start of the fire, there were 32 sailors on board the two ships. All of them were citizens of Turkey and India.
One of the serious violations was the lack of special warning devices on board. Once at the anchorage, the captains were supposed to transmit the appropriate signals to the shore, but the satellite beacons were turned off. We learned about the tragedy on the shore with a slight delay. The Novorossiysk Sea Rescue Coordination Center immediately responded to the information received. The rescue operation involved about 10 ships and 3 special-purpose ships.
Despite all the efforts of the rescuers, the fire has not yet been extinguished. The ships burn for 4 days. One of the ships lurched heavily.
Within a day, the operation was renamed from rescue to search, as it became clear that there were no more living people on board. Rescuers who arrived at the scene of the tragedy say that many sailors managed to jump into the water and sail to a safe distance.
Currently, it is known about 14 dead. 3 sailors are considered missing. The rest of the people are saved. Hospitals in Anapa, Gelendzhik and Novorossiysk immediately announced their readiness to receive all the victims. According to the latest data, some of the sailors are in medical institutions in Kerch, where they have everything they need to help people with burns, hypothermia and various injuries.
Consequences of a fire
The director of the "Crimean seaports" called the incident a great tragedy, but assured that the fire did not affect the navigation on the Kerch-Yenikalsky canal. There is no threat to other ships.
Environmentalists have warned of the possible consequences for the environment in the event of an oil or fuel oil spill. The spread of pollution can be affected by the circular current in the Black Sea. The southeastern coast of Crimea is at risk. But we are not talking about catastrophic pollution, since the ships transported liquefied fuel.