Japan coast guard rescues 7 crew members after cargo ship sinks off north coast; 3 dead

TOKYO (AFP) - Japan's coast guard said on Friday that three foreign crew members had died among a group of 10 who were rescued after they abandoned a cargo ship that sank off the country's northern coast.

The trio - two Chinese and one from Myanmar - were part of a group plucked from chilly waters in the strait separating Japan's main Honshu and northernmost Hokkaido islands. They were initially listed as "unconscious".

"They were sent to hospital where they were confirmed dead," a local coast guard official said. The 10 crewmen abandoned the ship just before it sank.

Among the seven other crew members are two Bangladeshis, including the captain, and five Chinese. They are in a stable condition.

The 1,915-tonnoe Cambodia-registered Ming Guang was carrying scrap metal from the northern Japanese port of Hakodate to South Korea when it sprang a leak and began sinking late on Thursday.

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