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Chinese ship sinks off Antarctica: Chile
by Staff Writers
Santiago (AFP) April 23, 2013


A Chinese refrigerator ship that caught fire last week off Antarctica has sunk, the Chilean navy announced.

Around 90 crew members had been rescued from the vessel Kai Xin when it caught fire April 17. There was no one aboard when it sank on Monday.

Crew aboard a Chinese-flagged fishing boat that headed toward the area where the refrigerator ship went down reported seeing nets and life rafts in the water, the navy statement said.

The navy ordered the fishing vessel to stay in the area until a Chilean vessel carrying people specialized in fighting fuel leaks gets to the scene to locate the wreck.

The Chilean vessel left Punta Arenas in the far south of the country last Friday.

In December, four crew members of a Chinese ship anchored in the Strait of Magellan -- the route just south of mainland South America -- died after jumping into the freezing waters to try to swim to Chile's coast.

Their motive for jumping was never established, but rights organizations say crew members on some Chinese fishing ships are grossly overworked, spending months at sea without calling at a port.

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