Wednesday 28 July 2010

Japanese tanker blasts in Strait of Hormuz

Raises eye brow?


"TOKYO, July 28 (Xinhua) -- A Japanese oil tanker M. Star blasted near the Strait of Hormuz on Wednesday, leaving one person slightly injured.

The crude oil tanker M. Star was damaged but the engine was not affected, Kenji Yoshimura, a publicity official of the Mitsui O.S. K. Lines Ltd., owner of the ship, told Xinhua. The explosion did not lead to an oil leakage, he said.

A total of 31 Indian and Filipino crew members were aboard the ship, the official said, adding 15 are Indians and 16 are of Philippine nationality. The injured one is Indian.

The explosion occurred at about 00:30 a.m. Wednesday local time when the ship was sailing in Oman waters in the western part of the strait.

The tanker was heading toward Japan after loading crude oil in the port of Das Island in Abu Dhabi of the United Arab Emirates when the blast took place, Yoshimura said.

The tanker is now on its way toward the port of Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates for a checkup and the investigation of the causes.

Local media reported the blast might have been caused by an outside force because crew members saw flash of light on the horizon just before the explosion occurred. The Japanese government had not announced the causes of the blast.

Because of the difficulty in communication caused by language differences, the details of the explosion were still unknown, an official of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan surnamed Shimoda said, adding only some of the doors and windows of the ship's bridge were known to have been damaged.

According to the official, there had been no pirate attack on the Japanese ships in seas of the Strait of Hormuz.

The tanker was built in 2008 and displaces about 160,000 tonnes." Xinhua News