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Singapore Strait collision sinks general cargo freighter

[SINGAPORE] A twelve-crew member cargo freighter carrying 560 metric tonnes of bunker fuel sank in the Singapore Strait after colliding with a chemical tanker at 8:14 pm (1214 GMT) on Dec 16.

There are no reports of any oil spills from cargo freighter Thorco Cloud bearing the Antigua and Barbuda flag. The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has said it is assisting Indonesian authorities to survey and mark the sunken ship to ensure navigational safety.

The incident, which took place in Indonesian waters 6 nautical miles northwest of Batam, left the Cayman Islands-registered chemical tanker Stolt Commitment with minor damage and in stable condition, the MPA said.

Six of the freighter's crew members have been rescued. Another six are still missing.

Search and rescue efforts by the MPA are underway in cooperation with Singapore's Police Coast Guard and the Singapore Civil Defence Force.

Indonesian authorities have also commenced search and rescue operations.

The Singapore Strait, one of the world's busiest commercial shipping routes, is a 105-km long, 16-km wide passage between the Strait of Malacca to the South China Sea.

REUTERS