Massive Explosion Damages Cargo Ship Near Romania’s Danube Port

On Wednesday, Romanian authorities said an explosion occurred on a vessel close to the Danube port of Sulina, deploying one minesweeper vessel with expert divers to scout the zone for mines.

The members associated with Romania’s rescue services evacuated 12 crew members on the Togo-registered cargo vessel. They rushed them to shore for necessary medical checks after the explosion early on Wednesday.

A vessel flying the flag of Togo, loaded with cement, experienced an explosion in the vessel’s engine room and asked for the vessel to be immediately evacuated, said Romania’s Transport Minister in a statement.

With Russia blocking Ukraine’s seaports, the Danube River has emerged as a lifeline for exporting Ukrainian grain.

The 90-meter-long vessel was about 13 kilometres off the port of Sulina in Romania, where the Danube flows directly into the Black Sea.

The ministry informed that the cargo vessel reached Sulina on 12 September and had been waiting to step into the Bystroye canal on Ukraine’s side.

The defence ministry reported that the Naval Authority of Romania sent out a minesweeper along with a group of specialized divers to the scene, with helicopters on standby to intervene if needed.

Since Russia introduced a war against Ukraine last year in February, the threat posed by sea mines has increased rapidly in the Black Sea, with nearly 80 devices discovered in the territorial waters of Romania.

For now, no clues suggest a mine resulted in the explosion, a naval forces spokesman informed the reporters.

The crew members suggested that the explosion came from inside the vessel, he explained.

According to local media reports, the crew members are Turkish, Lebanese, Syrian, and Egyptian.

References: Metro, Times Of India

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