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Two vessels on fire in Kerch Strait following explosion onboard one of them

At least ten people are reported dead

SIMFEROPOL, January 21. /TASS/. Two vessels flying the flag of Tanzania are on fire in the Kerch Strait. An explosion probably occurred onboard one of them, a spokesman for Russia’s Federal Agency of Sea and River Transport told TASS on Monday.

"According to preliminary information, an explosion occurred onboard of the vessels. Later on, fire spread to the other ship. A rescue boat is on its way to the scene," he said, adding that one of the vessels is an LNG carrier.

According to the spokesman, one of the vessels, the Candy, has a crew of 17, including nine Turkish citizens and eight Indian nationals. The other one, the Maestro, has a crew of 14 (seven Turkish and seven Indian citizens).

A spokesman for the Azov-Black Sea maritime rescue service told TASS a rescue operation in underway.

According to the Federal Agency of Sea and River Transport, the accident took place when fuel was pumped from one vessel to the other.