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Tanker Catches Fire Off China

November 24, 2002

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HONG KONG (AP) _ Firefighters battled to control a blaze aboard a tanker carrying 20,000 tons of liquefied petroleum gas in Chinese waters Sunday, but officials said there was little risk of an explosion.

Capt. Ravi Dewan of the Hong Kong Maritime Rescue Center said the fire in the Panamanian-registered Gaz Poem’s engine room was beginning to die down. Winds kept flames away from the cargo area.

No one was injured. Nearby vessels picked up the 34 crew members from lifeboats, said a government spokeswoman, who identified herself only by her surname, Tang.

Mainland Chinese and Hong Kong firefighters were at the scene.

Tang said the fire’s cause was not known.

Local radio reports said the crew members were of Spanish and Philippine origin, but Tang said she had no such information.

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