| 19 April 2024, Friday |

Chinese cargo shipsinks off the coast of Japan

A Chinese government official told state broadcaster CGTN on Thursday, that a cargo ship which sank off the coast of Japan on Tuesday, amid poor weather conditions, has left eight people dead according to Chinese media. Six of the dead were Chinese nationals.

The incident took place some 110 kilometers (68 miles) west of the remote and uninhabited Danjo Islands in southwestern Japan. The ship named Jin Tian, had a crew from China and Myanmar.

The 6,651-ton vessel was registered in Hong Kong, Japan’s coast guard said.

Crew forced to abandon ship
The ship’s captain sent a distress signal to South Korea’s coast guard on Tuesday evening, saying the crew would abandon ship. The vessel then sank at approximately 2:46am local time (5:46pm UTC on Tuesday).

No immediate cause for the sinking has been determined, but a South Korean coast guard spokesperson said the area was experiencing strong winds at the time of the incident.

A cold snap hit much of Asia this week, with daytime temperatures in some Japanese islands nearest the rescue site reaching just 3 degrees Celsius (37 degrees Fahrenheit).

Hundreds of flights to South Korea’s Jeju island were cancelled on Tuesday due to extreme weather.

Five crew members survive
Some 13 crew members were rescued from the scene, with Japan’s coast guard and military, and also three private ships from the area, joining in the search.

China’s Consul General in the Japanese city of Fukuoka, Lu Guijun, told Chinese media that a search operation for the 13 missing individuals had retrieved five individuals alive, with non-life threatening conditions.

“We express our deepest condolences to the unfortunate victims,” Lu said of the remaining eight crew members who perished.

Japanese authorities have yet to confirm the figures cited by Lu, saying they could only attest to two people found dead and nine that remain missing.

  • DW