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Cargo ship caught fire; all 15 N. Korean sailors safe

All Headlines 23:24 December 15, 2015

JEJU, Dec. 15 (Yonhap) -- A Sierra Leone-flagged cargo ship caught fire in waters off South Korea's southern resort island of Jeju, but all 15 North Korean crew members are safe, a Coast Guard official said Tuesday.

The 2,516-ton ship called the South Korean center for monitoring marine traffic and informed that a fire broke out in its engine room.

The vessel traffic service in Jeju dispatched a helicopter and a patrol vessel to help put out the fire and rescue crew members.

But the North Korean crew members had put out the fire by themselves as they asked South Korean rescue crew members to standby. All 15 North Koreans are in healthy condition, said Coast Guard official Kim Dae-hong.

The vessel was heading to Shanghai, China's financial hub, from North Korea's northeastern port city of Rajin with a cargo of 1200 tons of lumber.

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