One dead, eight missing as cargo ships collide off Tokyo Bay

File image of a A T.S. Lines container ship, right, and a Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd. container ship move through Tokyo Bay in Tokyo, Japan, on Sunday, 18 August 2013 Shipping lanes in the Tokyo Bay area are crowded with container and other vessels (file image)

A collision between two cargo ships in waters outside Tokyo Bay has left one sailor dead and eight others missing.

The Panama-registered Beagle III sank after hitting South Korea's Pegasus Prime in the early hours of Tuesday.

Japan's coastguard said that 11 Chinese crew members were rescued from the Beagle III, but another man died and eight more were unaccounted for.

The South Korean crew were all safe after the collision, the cause of which was not clear.

Two helicopters and 19 patrol ships were dispatched to search for the missing men, the coastguard said.

The accident area lies in crowded shipping lanes approaching the major Japanese ports of Tokyo and Yokohama.

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