Local authorities are scrambling to ascertain the cause of a fire on a Panama cargo ship docking off the beach town of Vung Tau early Sunday.
The Vietnam Maritime Search and Rescue Coordination Center (VMRCC) was alerted to the fire at around 3:15 a.m., ten minutes after it spread on the ship Golden 168.
The blaze reportedly broke out in one of the chambers of the vessel that was ferrying 6,600 tons of coconut flour with 20 people on board. It was en route from Singapore to Hong Kong.
The captain separated the chamber in an attempt to contain fire before sending distress signal, according to VMRCC.
Authorities in Ba Ria Vung Tau Province, home to Vung Tau, dispatched boats to rescue all 20 crew members, including 11 Burmese, five Chinese, three Vietnamese and one Bangladeshi.
VMRCC sent a ship to put out the fire by 9 a.m.
The ship had anchored at Nha Trang to repair a broken engine.
On February 6, the crew found a broken chamber soon after departing Nha Trang for Hong Kong, prompting them to sail the vessel to Vung Tau for repairing.