Page last updated at 14:56 GMT, Thursday, 25 September 2008 15:56 UK

UK engineer killed in China storm

Storm waves lash southern China's Hainan island
Typhoon Hagupit hit southern China after battering Hong Kong

A British engineer has died after a typhoon hit his container ship in the seas off southern China.

Graham Ross, 52, from Liverpool, broke his back and legs when the freighter, owned by Danish company Maersk, was tossed in the storm on Tuesday.

Maersk said the vessel was sailing between the Chinese ports of Yantian to Xiamen when Typhoon Hagupit struck.

The storm caused death and chaos as it swept through the Philippines, Hong Kong, China and Vietnam.

Kate Sanderson, spokeswoman for Maersk in London, said the incident occurred at 2200 Singapore time (1500 BST) on Tuesday.

She said Mr Ross, who was the chief engineer on board the UK-registered Maersk Kithira and had been with the company since 1991, died from his injuries the following day.

The Foreign Office confirmed the details.

'Unfortunate accident'

Mr Ross and the ship's chief officer were carrying out work in the poor weather, said Ms Sanderson.

"The chief officer suffered minor injuries in the incident and has been discharged from hospital," she said.

"Mr Ross's family has been notified and we are doing everything we can to help with their bereavement.

"We share the family's loss and deeply regret this unfortunate accident. The safety of our crew is a top priority and we are conducting investigations into the cause of this incident."

The typhoon made landfall in southern China's Guangdong province, which neighbours Hong Kong, just after dawn on Wednesday, with winds of 172 km/h (106 mph).

Local media say 10 people were killed and thousands of homes destroyed in Guangdong and Guangxi provinces.

The weather system killed at least eight people in the Philippines, and flash floods hit low-lying areas of Hong Kong, injuring dozens and disrupting transport.

Typhoon sweeps HK, China, Vietnam
24 Sep 08 |  Asia-Pacific

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