Two Vietnamese seamen were killed and four others suffered serious burn injuries in a fire that broke out on a South Korean fishing vessel at Montevideo Port in Uruguay last Saturday, according to Uruguayan officials yesterday.
The two seamen killed were 32-year-old Nguyen Van Huu and 27 year-old Tran Van Duan, both from the northern province of Ha Tinh.
The Jung Woo III vessel that caught fire belongs to a company that also owned the Jung Woo II vessel that had earlier caught fire in mid January on a coast near Antarctic waters, killing three Vietnamese seamen.
Officials from the Montevideo Port office said the fire occurred Saturday afternoon. The vessel had 44 seamen from South Korea, Vietnam, China and Ukraine on board, and caught fire on Saturday morning. Firefighters struggled till Monday to control and stamp out the fire.
The Vietnamese Embassy in the region is working closely with authorities in Uruguay to help bring back the dead and injured Vietnamese seamen.
The four injured Vietnamese seamen named are Nguyen Hai Duong, 21, Nguyen Van Tuan 30, Nguyen Tien Son, 26 and Le Duc Thang, 21.
The Vietnamese Embassy has asked those responsible to compensate the victims. Meanwhile, investigations into the cause of the fire are underway.
One of the Vietnamese seamen who survived the fire was Nguyen Dinh Tung, 32, from Nghe An Province. According to him the fire started at 4am Uruguay time when most of the crewmembers were asleep.
Of the 44 crewmembers, 25 are Vietnamese, from Quang Binh, Ha Tinh, and Nghe An Provinces, Tung said.
Nguyen Ngoc Quynh, head of the Overseas Labour Management Department, said he had ordered the two Vietnamese companies that had provided the fishermen to the South Korean vessel to immediately contact the vessel’s owner for information, so that the department could handle the case as soon as possible.