At least five seamen are dead and another eight feared downed following a collision between two tankers in the English Channel, near the Isle of Wight.
AV Small ships and blazing tanker
AV Heavy black smoke-ZOOM IN--flames and burning tanker (2 shots)
AV Oil burning on water and fire-fighting ships spraying tanker (2 shots)
AV Small ship escorting tanker-PAN-tanker
AV Fire-fighting ship spraying tanker
SV Burning tanker and flames from funnel
LV Burning tanker
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Background: At least five seamen are dead and another eight feared downed following a collision between two tankers in the English Channel, near the Isle of Wight. The men died when their giant oil tanker exploded into flames last night (Friday) after colliding with another ship.
The 42 thousand ton tanker, Pacific Glory, exploded in flames after a collision with another tanker--the Allegro. Both ships were registered in Liberia.
Fire fighting tugs battled through the night and day to quench the blaze, but later on Saturday flames leapt into the air when the ship's supply of fuel oil caught fire. The grimy, black smoke could be seen 25 miles (40 Kms) away.
Aircraft and a flotilla of rescue vessels looking for survivors combed the sea, which in parts was on fife from burning crude oil.
The 46-thousand-ton Allegro was not badly damaged and berthed in Southampton for repairs.
But the thousands of gallons of oil seeping from the Pacific Glory are providing yet another pollution threat to England's south coast. Royal Navy tugs sprayed detergent in an attempt to disperse the oil slick and officials were hoping a prevailing westerly wind would carry the slick away from shore.
Early today (Saturday) the Pacific Glory ran aground off the Southern tip of the Isle of Wight, and experts said tonight she was in danger of breaking her back. It's hoped the fire might be quelled sufficiently to allow another tanker alongside to take off the Pacific Glory's oil cargo before it spills into the English Channel.