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Four Tanker Blast Survivors to Testify

April 9, 2004

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) _ Four crewmen who were pulled from the Atlantic after their tanker exploded and sank off the Virginia coast testified Friday before a federal grand jury, a lawyer for two of the men said.

The U.S. attorney’s office subpoenaed the four men to appear after they refused to talk to the Coast Guard, which is investigating the Feb. 28 explosion that killed three and left 18 missing and presumed dead. The crewmen were granted immunity from prosecution.

The lawyer, Stanley Sacks, said he believed all the men would now be allowed to return to their native Philippines. He did not know what they had said in their testimony.

The Coast Guard was able to interview the two other survivors, the chief cook and messman, but investigators said they provided little insight because they were in the galley.

The Bow Mariner, a tanker carrying ethanol, was registered in Singapore, and the Singapore government asked the United States to lead the investigation.

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