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Eighteen Ukrainian sailors trapped underwater in Hong Kong feared dead

Eighteen Ukrainian sailors trapped underwater in Hong Kong feared dead

Eighteen Ukrainian sailors were feared dead yesterday after they were trapped underwater in their capsized tugboat in Hong Kong for nearly 40 hours amid strong currents, a salvage company said.
"Their chances for survival are very slim," spokesman Zhang Jianwen of China's Guangzhou Salvage Bureau told The Associated Press in a phone interview.
Divers were searching for bodies, and a Chinese salvage boat was stabilizing the Ukrainian tugboat and preparing it for a move from its current depth of 35 meters to shallower waters to ease rescue efforts, Zhang said.
Strong currents were hindering those efforts, government spokeswoman Heidi Liu said.
Earlier, officials had said the sailors could have found a pocket of air that would enable them to survive. However, divers did not hear any return signal when they knocked on the capsized boat Sunday. The tugboat Neftegaz 67 - which had been detained in Hong Kong in 2003 with safety problems - sank and has been lying upside down underwater since late Saturday, when it collided with Chinese cargo ship Yao Hai in waters northwest of Hong Kong's outlying Lantau island.


Updated : 2021-10-20 22:38 GMT+08:00