Factory vessel with 97 crew members burst into flames off Antarctica

By Accidents

A Chinese factory fishing vessel burst into flames Wednesday just off the coast of Antarctica and ninety-seven people of the crew members were rescued by a nearby Norwegian ship as Chile's military mobilized to prevent any environmental damage.
The crew members left the burning fishing vessel Kai Xin and were shifted aboard the Norwegian stern trawler Juvel about 34 nautical miles (55 kilometers) from Chile's Bernardo O'Higgins research base near the northern tip of the Antarctic peninsula, Chilean officials reported.
The vessel wasn't instantly at risk of sinking, and nearby ships could tow it away from the Antarctic coast if necessary, officials reported.
Capt. Juan Marcelo Villegas, who is maritime governor for Chile's portion of Antarctica, told that Chile's navy may send a tug vessel from Punta Arenas, near the southern tip of South America, to tow the damaged vessel to harbor as long as it remained seaworthy.
Chile's air force was preparing a 2nd flight for Thursday to check on the ship's condition. The damaged vessel Kai Xin left port in Uruguay and Chilean officials didn't know how much fuel it was carrying, informed Capt. Villegas.
"Currently the weather conditions are pretty favorable. There is a little wind and the ocean conditions are good, so, currently there is no imminent risk of sinking," Villegas added.
The Panamian-flagged China's vessel Skyfrost was approaching the region and would be able to take on the rescued seafarers, he told.