Explosion in Nicaraguan ship kills five

November 20th, 2008 - 9:04 am ICT by IANS  

Quito, Nov 20 (IANS) At least five people have been killed and 30 injured in an explosion on board a Nicaraguan-flagged vessel in the port of Manta in western Ecuador, EFE news agency reported Thursday, quoating officialsJuan Carlos Medranda, the head of radio operations for the Manta firefighters, said that the blast occurred when a pipe on board the ship carrying ammonia gas ruptured and the gas ignited.

The injured and the people who were present near the explosion area were taken to nearby health facilities, Medranda said adding that there was no danger in the ship or its surrounding area now.

Meanwhile, Patricio Mora, the Manta port captain, said the vessel was flying the Nicaraguan flag and provided services to an Ecuadorian fishing company.

The 1,800-tonne ship arrived at the port Monday, Mora said adding that the explosion occurred when 450 tonnes of frozen tuna were being unloaded and one of the rock-hard fish bumped into the ammonia pipe.

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