20:45 GMT +323 February 2019
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    Kerch, Russia

    Rescuers Begin Extinguishing Kerch Strait Tanker Fire - Marine Rescue Service

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    KRASNODAR (Sputnik) - A rescue vessel has begun the process of extinguishing a fire that broke out on board two Tanzania-flagged tankers in the Kerch Strait, a spokesperson for the local department of the Russian Marine Rescue Service told Sputnik.

    "Our vessel 'Spasatel Demidov' is extinguishing the fire," the spokesperson said.

    As many as eight people have been reported missing following a fire that broke out on board two Tanzania-flagged tankers in the Kerch Strait, the Russian Federal Agency of Maritime and River Transportation (Rosmorrechflot) told Sputnik, amid a search and rescue operation.

    "Eight people remain missing. The search and rescue operation continues," the agency's press service said.

    According to preliminary information, the fire broke out on Monday during a transfer of liquefied natural gas from one vessel to another.

    "Twelve were rescued, 11 bodies were discovered, nine went missing," Rosmorrechflot told Sputnik, specifying that a total of 32 people were on board the two tankers.

    READ MORE: Fire in Printing Complex in St. Petersburg Kills 1 — Emergency Services

    The agency had previously said that there were 31 sailors on board the vessels.

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    fire, casualties, Russia, Kerch
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