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Eight out of twelve rescued sailors in Kerch Strait ship fire are Turkish citizens

Ten people have died in the fire that broke out onboard two vessels near the Kerch Strait

KRASNODAR, January 22. /TASS/. Eight out of twelve sailors rescued after fire onboard two vessels in the Black Sea are Turkish nationals, the Turkish consulate general in Russia’s Novorossiysk told TASS on Tuesday.

Earlier reports said there were a total of 31 people onboard the two vessels, twelve sailors have been rescued and ten have been found dead.

"We know that eight Turkish nationals have been rescued. <...> The bodies [of those killed] have not been yet identified," a spokesperson said.

All sailors are onboard the vessels and have not yet been taken to Crimea’s Kerch, he said. The Turkish citizens have not received serious injuries and have received medical assistance, according to the consulate.

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 consisting of Turkish and Indian citizens.