Shoko Maru oil tanker exploded off Japan’s southwest coast near Himeji port, leaving one of the eight people aboard missing and the other seven injured.
Fire gutted the middle of the Shoko Maru – the 998-tonne tanker, based in the western city of Hiroshima, was left leaning over in the water after the accident and was being doused by firefighting ships.
Seven people were rescued, four having suffered severe burns, the public broadcaster NHK reported. A search was under way for the missing man, the tanker’s captain, it said.
Four of the injured people were severely burned, according to local media.
The cause of the explosion was unclear, said coast guard spokesman Koji Takarada. NHK said crew members had been working on the deck of the tanker at the time of the blast.
The tanker had unloaded its cargo of crude oil and was stationary close to the coast of Hyogo prefecture, about 280 miles (450km) west of Tokyo, when the explosion happened.
Reference : Guardian