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Five dead, seven missing after Chinese boat, Hong Kong tanker collide

[TOKYO] Japanese coastguards said on Friday they had discovered five bodies inside a Chinese fishing boat that capsized after a collision with a Hong Kong oil tanker off the western coast of Japan the previous day.

"We found five bodies inside the ship... we're still continuing our search-and-rescue operation for the remaining seven," a Japanese coastguard official told AFP.

Thursday's collision occurred 400km north of the Oki Islands in the Sea of Japan, also known as the East Sea.

The Chinese vessel, the 290-ton "Lurong Yuanyu 378", had 16 crew members in total. Four have already been rescued.

The Hong Kong-flagged ship was identified as "Brightoil Lucky", a 63,294-ton tanker carrying 21 crew members.

The tanker's crew were believed to be safe.

Japan has deployed three patrol boats to search for the missing crew, after responding to a plea for help from their Chinese counterparts.


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