Russian tanker on fire in Caspian, one crewmember dies

One crewmember of a Russian tanker on fire has died, ten others have been evacuated.
One crewmember of a Russian tanker on fire in the Caspian Sea has died and ten others have been evacuated, a source with the Astrakhan regional emergency services told Interfax on Saturday.

"There were 11 people on board the Russian tanker, and one crewmember, the chief engineer, died in the fire and ten others were evacuated to a vessel that approached the burning tanker," the source said.

Several Azerbaijani vessels are currently fighting the fire on board the Russian tanker, and aircraft should join the operation soon.

"None of the crewmembers are left on board the tanker, and efforts are being made to fight the fire," it said.

The Russian Emergency Situations Ministry's Southern regional center had reported earlier on Saturday that a fire had broken out on board the Palflot, a Russian tanker, while it was in Turkmenistan's territorial waters in the Caspian Sea, about 800 kilometers away from Astrakhan. The tanker's homeport is Taganrog.

"The tanker is empty now. There were 18 crewmembers on board the vessel, who have been evacuated by another Russian vessel," a center spokesperson said.

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