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Vietnam tanker sinks, 14 missing

6 March 08 07:26 GMT

Fourteen sailors are feared to have died after their oil tanker capsized in rough seas off the coast of Vietnam, maritime authorities have said.

One seaman was rescued at the time of the accident on Sunday, but most of the crew were trapped in the hull, Vietnamese officials say.

Salvage experts are trying to contain a 3km-wide (two-mile) oil slick.

The tanker, which sank off the coast of the Binh Thuan province, was carrying about 1,700 tonnes of oil.

Luu Minh Hung, deputy director of Binh Thuan's Department of Natural Resources and Environment, said divers were scouring the ocean for signs of the sailors.

But he played down any hope that they would be found alive.

"It's been four days and there's almost zero chance that the sailors can survive," he told the Associated Press news agency.

The stricken tanker, Duc Tri, was carrying the fuel from the southern city of Ho Chi Minh to Danang on the central coast.

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