MOSCOW, January 22. /TASS/. There are no chances to find survivors in the ship fire in the Kerch Strait, the press service of the Federal Agency for Maritime and River Transport said on Tuesday.
"As of 6am, the status of the operation has been reclassified to search from rescue because there is no hope to find survivors," a spokesperson said.
The fire has not been extinguished. "The blaze is ongoing," he said.
Earlier reports said that 10 people remain missing. Twelve people have been rescued, and 10 people have died in the incident.
"At 5:00 am the Merkury tow boat took onboard the rescued sailors and the bodies of those killed, who have been removed from the water, and soon they will be taken to Kerch," the spokesman said. Stormy weather impeded this effort at night.
On Monday a fire broke out onboard two vessels near the Kerch Strait off Russia’s territorial waters. According to preliminary data, the incident presumably occurred when fuel was being pumped from one ship to the other.
One of the vessels, the Candy, had a crew of 17, including nine Turkish citizens and eight Indian nationals. The other one, the Maestro, had a crew of 15 (seven Turkish nationals, seven Indian citizens, and an intern from Libya).