…As Official says 13 Pakistanis on boat capsized off Libyan coast***
An oil tanker fueled with thousands of tons of gas and carrying 22 crew members was reported missing off the coast of West Africa, a shipping company and India’s foreign ministry said.
The merchant vessel Marine Express vanished off the coast of Benin in the Gulf of Guineawith 22 Indian nationals on board, India’s foreign minister, Sushma Swaraj, said today.
The ship is owned by the shipping company Anglo-Eastern, a spokesman for India’s foreign ministry, Raveesh Kumar, said Saturday.
Hong Kong-based Anglo-Eastern said in a statement Friday that the ship “was last contacted” on Thursday. The company said the ship had been at the Cotonou anchorage in Benin.
The company said there were 22 crew members aboard and the ship was carrying thousands of tons of gasoline.
A spokesperson for Anglo-Eastern told ABC News on Sunday that there had been no update to the ship’s status since the company’s earlier statement.
Swaraj said India was coordinating with naval authorities in Nigeria and Benin in the search for the ship.
There is a persistent threat of hijacking in the Gulf of Guinea, the International Maritime Bureau said in a report last month.
Meanwhile, a Pakistani official says thirteen Pakistanis have been identified among some ninety illegal migrants on a boat that capsized off Libya’s coast.
Pakistan’s foreign ministry spokesman, Mohammad Faisal, said Sunday that the bodies of 13 Pakistanis have been identified through documents and by a survivor, rescued by Libyan fishermen
According to Faisal, eight of the deceased dead were from Gujrat district, four from Mandi Bahauddin and one from Rawalpindi, all in Punjab province. He added that the bodies would be repatriated to Pakistan within a week.
ABC with additional report from Fox News