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9 Chinese missing off northeastern Madagascar
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Nine Chinese, including eight Taiwan businessmen and one person from the Chinese mainland, had been missing in the sea off northeastern Madagascar since Thursday, the Chinese embassy said Sunday.

A ship carrying the nine Chinese and six Madagascan crew members left Sainte Marie island off northeastern Madagascar at around noon on Thursday, an embassy official told Xinhua.

The Chinese and the crew reported an engine failure at about 6 p.m. local time (1500 GMT), and seawater began flooding into the ship late in the evening after they failed to fix the engine, a source told Xinhua.

The source said he lost contact with the Chinese aboard at around midnight on Thursday.

At the request of the Chinese embassy In  Antananarivo, Madagascan rescue teams Friday began searching for the ship in the waters where it went missing.

The Chinese consul in Toamsina, Xu Jinlong who arrived in Sainte Marie on Saturday, said Sunday that two crew members had been rescued, but the rest remained missing.

(Xinhua News Agency July 14, 2008)

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