Fuel tanker burns and sinks on delta river

TN News

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A tanker carrying 22,000 liters of gasoline caught fire and sank in the Hau River in the Mekong Delta Monday morning, severly burning one worker.

The boat was anchored near a Southwestern Petroleum Company outlet in Can Tho. It was loading gas and deisel fuel for shipment to Bac Lieu Province. 13,000 liters of gas and 9,000 liters of diesel had been poured into the tanker when it caught fire.

Tran Chau Dang, 28, the tanker driver, was badly burned when the fire started sometime after 7 a.m.

Dang was first sent to a Can Tho hospital but then transferred to Ho Chi Minh City after doctors said his arms, neck and chest were severely damaged.

Workers cut the anchor string immediately after the fire broke out to let the tanker float further from the shore and keep the petrol store safe.

The tanker sank around one kilometer from the store. The oil tank seerated from the vessel during the accident.

Vo Thai Son, director of the petrol company, said the accident caused only a minor oil spill. The tank had three compartments and only outermost one leaked, Son said.

He said the company has used pumps and blotting paper to clear the oil in the water and the oil tank has been towed back to store.

Authorities are investigating the cause of the fire.

The Hau River is one of the two Mekong River's main distributaries in Vietnam.

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