Report: Chinese tanker splits in half after explosion, two missing

Chinese tanker vessel identified as Hong Pu 6 has broken apart following an explosion on January 10, while the vessel was in the Rizhao area.

Illustration; Image credit: Beihai Rescue

According to the Chinese media reports, the Beihai Rescue Bureau of the Ministry of Transport received a notification from the Shandong Provincial Maritime Search and Rescue Center that an explosion occurred on an empty oil tanker in the Rizhao sea area.

As informed, there were 17 people on board the tanker when the blast occurred who were trapped on the vessel. After receiving the report, the Beihai Rescue Bureau dispatched the “Beihai Rescue 115” ship to the scene.

Upon arrival, the vessel managed to rescue 15 crew members and bring them to safety, while two crew members remain unaccounted for.

The search and rescue operation is said to be underway for the missing crew.

The vessel was reportedly empty at the time of the accident and it was deployed on domestic trading route between Tianjin to Shandong Qingdao.