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    RUSSIAN DRY-CARGO SHIPWRECK NEAR TURKISH COAST

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    MOSCOW, FEBRUARY 13, 2004 (RIA Novosti) - A Russian dry-cargo ship is being in distress on the Turkish coast, reports the Russian transport ministry.

    At 11:10 p.m. on February 12, the Strontium steamer while awaiting permit from the traffic control service to enter the Strait of Bosporus broke loose from its anchor and was hurled ashore in the rescue district belonging to Turkey, northwest of the Strait of Bosporus, says the transport ministry's report.

    This accident has caused the flooding of the motor room, damage of the port side's fuel tank as a result of the ship's collision with the riffs and the danger of fuel spilling. The ship is filled with water up to the main deck.

    The Strontium, built in 1982, now owned by the Kama Navigational Company and registered in Taganrog, flies the colours of Russia. Its water displacement is 5,000 tons and its crew consists of 11 men, all citizens of Russia.

    On February 7, the steamer bound for the port of Tsigeli, Greece, set out from Rostov-on-Don with the cargo of 3,928 tons of scrap metal. There are 93 tons of diesel fuel onboard.

    Turkish rescuers are taking measures to evacuate the crew but the bad weather with the gale, zero visibility and precipitous sea is hampering their efforts.

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