MOL Ferry On Fire, One Missing

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A crew member was reported to be missing after a fire broke out at ferry at Japan’s MOL line

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Japanese Coast Guard has reported that one crew member was missing after the fire break-out in a ferry at 50 km off Tomakomai, Hokkaido, northern Japan on Friday.  The missing crew member is the ship’s second officer, Kunihiko Orita, 44, was engaged in firefighting activities on the MOL Ferry Co.’s Sunflower Daisetsu.  Reports reveal that Orita had mentioned about the horrible black smoke on his final contact with the captain.  Rescue crew consisting of nine coast guard members, 16 ships and seven aircraft had boarded the ferry from helicopters.  However, the smoke and heat from the still-burning ferry is an obstacle for their rescue efforts.  71 passengers and 22 other crew members were on board and were rescued by a coast guard ship.  The rescue operation is continuing its attempts to extinguish the fire. The alarmingly large amount of water used in firefighting is the biggest concern is a possibility of a shipwreck.

It is assumed that the fire had started in the parking area and may have spread to the engine room and to the steering gear room.  The parking area was holding four refrigerated container trucks.

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