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Seven Missing in Ship Collision off Shanghai

Seven people were still missing one day after a fishing boat collided with a freighter, while six others were rescued in a separate shipwreck in foggy weather early Thursday morning in coastal waters off Shanghai, the East China Sea Maritime Rescue Bureau said here Friday.

"Hope for the survival of the seven missing crew members is fading," a bureau official said.

The first collision occurred off Yangshan Harbor, in east China's Zhejiang Province, some 50 km south of Shanghai, at about 7:00 a.m., when the fishing boat "Zhexiangyu 70031#" collided with an unidentified craft, and all seven crewmen aboard fell into the water and are still missing, according to the Hainan Maritime Rescue Center.

In the second shipwreck, two hours later at the mouth of the Yangtze River, the 890-ton freighter "Zhedai 66210#" collided with the 1,000-ton freighter "Sutianhang 2#". The latter sank about 10 minutes later, eyewitnesses said.

The bureau said all the six crew members who fell into water in the second collision were rescued by nearby boats.

A preliminary investigation concluded that the foggy weather might be to blame for the two collisions.

Rescue work and investigations were continuing Friday.
(Xinhua News Agency February 21, 2004)

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