Thursday, May 21, 2015Thursday, May 21, 2015

Three dead in S. Korean fishing boat fire: Japan coastguard

Published on Jan 18, 2013 11:52 AM

TOKYO (AFP) - Three people were dead and five missing on Friday in a fishing boat fire in waters near islands at the centre of a dispute between Tokyo and Beijing, Japan's coastguard said.

"We have been informed by South Korean officials that three people died and five are missing from a South Korean fisheries ship that caught fire in waters near Uotsuri island," a spokesman said, referring to an island in the East China Sea.

A coastguard patrol plane "discovered part of a boat that is believed to be the South Korean vessel at 8:24 am local time," the Japanese coastguard said in a statement, adding it was continuing the search for the missing crew members.

The incident was first discovered by a South Korean vessel in waters some 100 nautical miles north of Uotsuri, the largest island in the Tokyo-controlled Senkaku chain, claimed by Beijing as the Diaoyus.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!