Labuan Inferno: Two More Bodies Recovered, Feared to Be Malaysians
KUALA LUMPUR: Rescuers have recovered two bodies, believed to be the missing crew members of the ill-fated chemical tanker Bunga Alpinia 3, which caught fire in Labuan waters yesterday.
The two were believed to have been found by the rescue team, who had been combing the waters and outlying areas for survivors since the incident.
A statement from Malaysia International Shipping Corporation (MISC) this evening confirmed the discovery of the bodies.
“We wish to confirm that another two bodies have been recovered in the waters near the vessel. Identities of the bodies have yet to be confirmed,” read the statement.
As of yesterday, one Malaysian was confirmed dead as a result of the incident. He was identified as Syahril Azmi Baharudin from Melaka. Syahril was working as a ‘greaser’ on the port Klang-registered vessel.
Authorities have so far refused to elaborate on whether the bodies belonged to any of the four crew members who went missing following the 2.30am blast at the Port Klang-registered vessel last night.
Three of the four are Malaysian. They are Zahari Hashim, Mohd Hanafi Khairil, Mohd Nazim Kamsani, as well as a Filipino national, Colanggoy Errol Calanguan.
It is understood that the rescue team personnel, headed by the Maritime Response Coordination Centre (MRCC) will continue search efforts today.
The incident has generated an outpouring of grief among Malaysians, who had expressed shock over the incident. Many turned to social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to offer messages of hope and prayers to the families of the crewmen who are still missing.
Malaysian Digest reported yesterday that the vessel, which belongs to the Malaysia International Shipping Corporation (MISC), was hit by a freak lightning strike around 2.30am. The vessel was in the midst of loading methanol at the Petronas Chemicals Methanol Sdn Bhd terminal at the time of the incident.
The explosion rocked Labuan, and the blast effect was felt even in residential areas and offices.
Authorities later disclosed that one crew member of the ship had died as a result. He was identified as Syahril Azmi Baharudin from Melaka. Syahril was working as a ‘greaser’ on the port Klang-registered vessel.
During the incident, the 38,000 DWT IMO II vessel had 29 crew, comprising 23 Malaysians and six Filipinos but 24 of the crew members have been brought ashore safely.