Two people have lost their lives and another person was injured following an axe fight that broke out between the crew members of the Liberia-flagged MV Qing May bulk carrier.
The accident took place while the 200,000 DWT Chinese vessel was sailing near the Jolo island in the southern Philippine waters.
After officials of the local Coast Guard (PCG) were deployed to the scene in the early hours of Sunday morning to provide their assistance, two Chinese nationals were determined to be dead – one being identified as 35-year-old Zhang Weenjo, a chief cook and the other being 28-year-old Xie Lhichao, an engineer.
A third person - 49-year-old Liao Shiguo, an electrical engineer - sustained serious head injuries with the axe reportedly being still stuck in his head when the appointed teams arrived at the vessel’s location.
The causes behind the argument that led to the accident itself remain unclear as of the moment, primarily due to the fact that no seafarer aboard the vessel speaks English. It has been reported that the prime suspect is still somewhere onboard hiding. The vessel is currently docked at the port of Zamboanga.
At the time of the accident, the ship was en route from Australia to China. The vessel is operated by the Chinese Foremost group.