MOSCOW - Two Tanzanian-flagged commercial vessels caught fire in the Black Sea, leaving at least 10 sailors dead, Russian officials said Monday. Seven sailors were missing.
The Federal Agency for the Sea and River Transport said the fire erupted while fuel was being pumped from one tanker to another. The blaze also spread from one ship to the other, prompting the crews to jump overboard, according to Russian news agencies.
The news agencies quoted the federal maritime agency as saying the two vessels had 31 crew members combined who are citizens of Turkey and India.
Salvage teams have rescued 14 crew members and recovered 10 bodies, the maritime agency said, adding that a search for the seven missing sailors is underway.
The Russian navy has joined the rescue operation, deploying two of its ships.
The fire erupted while the two vessels, the Maestro and the Candy, were anchored near the Kerch Strait linking the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.