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Robot sub in search for 8 Chinese after Japan ship crash

TOKYO - Search teams have used a remote-controlled submarine in the hunt for the bodies of eight Chinese mariners after the collision of two cargo ships in Tokyo Bay, a Japanese coastguard official said Monday.

Rescuers have recovered the body of a 23-year-old Chinese man from the ship, which lies in 100 metres (330 feet) of water, the second confirmed death from the accident earlier this month, the official said.

The Panamanian-flagged Beagle III, a 12,630-ton vessel carrying steel coil, sank on March 18 after colliding with the South Korean-registered Pegasus Prime in the mouth of Tokyo Bay.

Twelve of the 20 Chinese crew aboard Beagle III were rescued but one of them later died.

A survey ship has detected the sunken vessel on the sea floor, and its owners mobilised a remote-control sub to look for the remains of those believed to have been killed in the accident.

"The man’s body was found and recovered from the right-side deck of the sunken ship," the coastguard official said, adding that it was receiving updates from the owners. "Rescuers used the submarine’s remotely controlled arms to raise the body."

The crew of the 7,406-ton Pegasus Prime -- six South Koreans and eight people from Myanmar -- were mostly unhurt.

Tokyo Bay is Japan’s busiest waterway with some 500 ships passing through daily.

AFP


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