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Chinese fishing boat on fire in Antarctic, 97 crew rescued


18:58, April 18, 2013

Image provided by the Communications Office of the Chilean Air Force shows smoke rising from Chinese fishing vessel "Kai Xin". All 97 crew members of the Chinese fishing vessel were rescued on April 17, 2013 in the Antarctic waters after a fire broke out on board, the Chinese Embassy to Chile has confirmed. (Xinhua/Chilean Air Force)

SANTIAGO, April 17 (Xinhua) -- All 97 crew members of a Chinese fishing vessel were rescued Wednesday in Antarctic waters after a fire broke out on board, the Chinese Embassy in Chile confirmed.

Earlier, the Chilean Navy said in a statement that a Norwegian-flagged vessel rescued the Chinese fishermen.

"Some 90 members of the crew of the Chinese fishing vessel 'Kai Xin', which was sailing in Antarctic waters, were rescued by the Norwegian vessel 'Juvel' on Wednesday morning, after a fire broke out on the fishing ship from unknown causes," the statement said.

According to Chile's search and rescue maritime service, the fire broke out at 8:30 a.m. local time (1130 GMT) in a location 55 km northwest of Chile's O'Higgins Antarctic base.

There were 97 crew members on board when the ship was rescued, Chilean media reported.

The Chinese Embassy said it had launched an emergency mechanism to keep close contact with Chilean authorities after being informed of the accident.

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