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Oil tanker listing off Japan after explosion

Published on May 29, 2014 12:37 PM
The 998-tonne oil tanker Shoko-Maru (left) listing off the coast of Hyogo prefecture, around 450km) west of Tokyo on May 29, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO (AFP) - A 998-tonne oil tanker was listing off the Japanese coast on Thursday after an explosion and subsequent fire that sent towering columns of acrid smoke into the sky.

One person was still unaccounted for more than two hours after the accident.

The tanker had unloaded its cargo of crude oil and was stationary close to the coast of Hyogo prefecture, around 450 kilometres (280 miles) west of Tokyo, when the explosion happened.

Akihiro Komura, an official from Syoho Shipping, a Hiroshima-based shipping firm that owns the vessel, told AFP that seven of the eight Japanese crew were accounted for, but the fate of the captain was not yet known.

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