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Kerch Strait ship fire kills 14 sailors, Crimea’s head says

A total of 12 people have been rescued, while six are still missing

SIMFEROPOL, January 22. /TASS/. Fourteen people have died after two ships caught fire in the Kerch Strait, Crimea’s head Sergei Aksyonov told reporters on Tuesday.

"I cannot say anything about the cause of the fire. We currently have information about 14 dead sailors, which was included in a report Crimea’s emergencies minister presented to me at nine in the morning. Other sailors have not been delivered to hospitals yet. Kerch hospitals are expecting to receive them, they will get medical assistance," he said.

As many as 12 people have been rescued, while six are still missing. Search and rescue efforts are underway.

Deputy Kerch Administration head Dilyaver Melgaziyev said that the city was ready to receive the sailors. "All our services, including hospitals, are ready," he said.

The Maestro and Candy ships flying the Tanzanian flag caught fire outside of Russian territorial waters on Monday. According to preliminary information, the fire erupted while fuel was being pumped from one vessel to another. The two ships had a total of 32 crew members, Turkish and Indian nationals.