GEORGE TOWN, April 19 – A Myanmar national was killed while five fellow crew members were injured in an explosion on board a chemical tanker in the waters off Teluk Bahang here last night. Tha Tun, 35, died in the incident. The ship was on its way to the North Butterworth Container Terminal (NBCT) at Dermaga Dalam, Butterworth on the mainland.
The injured were identified as Kang Seongjin, 18, a South Korean; Zwe Ko Ko Hte, 28; La Min Hoo, 32; Kyaw Win (Mohd Fareez), 23 and Thai Nung (Mohd Fazreen), 25, all Myanmar citizens. Penang police chief Datuk Abdul Ghafar Rajab said the injured crew were receiving treatment at the Seberang Jaya Hospital and all were reported to be in stable condition.
He said that the body of the deceased is also at the Seberang Jaya Hospital for post- mortem. Earlier, Penang Port Sdn Bhd (PPSB) Acting Chief Executive Officer, Rosihan Adi Baharuddin in a statement here had said they received a distress alert from the ship at about 10pm claiming that an explosion had occurred and medical assistance was needed.
Rosihan said the tanker arrived about midnight and the captain informed that a fire had started in the middle of the deck. Zwe Ko Ko Hte, when met at the hospital, said he was washing the floor in the upper deck when he suddenly heard an explosion and fainted immediately after that.
When met at the hospital, Zwe said the Singapore-based vessel had delivered its shipment to NBCT and was on its way back to Singapore when the explosion occurred. He said he have been with this shipping company for six years and this is the first time that he experienced anything like this. Mohd Fareez, who suffered burns on his abdomen, hands and face, said he was working on the deck when the blast threw him a few metres.