A Norwegian freighter with eleven passengers aboard became a fiery inferno about 100 miles off the southern coast of California (western U.
Various aerial shots of burning vessel.
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Background: A Norwegian freighter with eleven passengers aboard became a fiery inferno about 100 miles off the southern coast of California (western U.S.) on Monday (18 May). One body was recovered, ten are missing, including the captain, a stewardess and seven passengers Forty-five were saved.
The ship was the 450-foot Sandanger and the fire apparently was burning in its cargo of cotton, wood pulp and citrus.
A German ship picked up the crew of 45, a Japanese freighter recovered the body of a woman. A tug stood by all night without being able to approach the burning vessel. Experienced seamen said it was unusual for the crew to be saved while the passengers were missing.
The ship's master was John Kellmer of Bergen, Norway.
The Sandanger's radio operator reported the fire in a series of SOS messages. He said two women and a child were taken off before smoke forced him to abandon his post.