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Crimea: Ships Catch Fire, 10 Killed, 14 Rescued

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Local Editor

Ten crew members lost their lives, while 14 were rescued after two ships caught fire in the Kerch Strait near Crimea, Russia's Transport Ministry said on Monday, with a rescue operation still underway.

The ministry said earlier on Monday that crew members were jumping into the sea to escape the blaze, which probably broke out during a ship-to-ship fuel transshipment.

Both ships were under the Tanzanian flag — Candy [Venice] and Maestro — and had a combined 31 crew members. Of them, 16 were Turkish citizens and 15 from India, it said.

The Kerch Strait between Crimea and southern Russia controls access from the Black Sea to the Azov Sea, where there are both Russian and Ukrainian ports.

In November, Russia detained three Ukrainian navy vessels and their crews in the Black Sea near the Kerch Strait, fueling tensions between the two countries.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

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