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Ten Die in Romania Shipyard Blast

June 5, 2001

CONSTANTA, Romania (AP) _ Shipyard workers welding the hull of an oil tanker set off an explosion and fire in this Black Sea port Tuesday, killing at least 10 people, officials said.

Five hours after the explosion, firefighters were still struggling to slice open the wreckage of a Maltese tanker to recover the dead and search for the missing.

The explosion took place at about 1 p.m. and set off a fire that raged for an hour, said Serban Berescu, the port’s deputy director. Initial reports suggested a welder’s torch ignited a mixture of paraffin and mud which fueled the blaze on the vessel.

It was the second fire to engulf the ship, the Anopolis, in the past two weeks and the second oil tanker in the past month to explode in Constanta, 155 miles east of Bucharest.

On May 8, a Bulgarian oil tanker exploded, killing two crew members.

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