Cornwall

Ship explosion: Three crew members airlifted to hospital

Coastguard helicopter Image copyright Greg Caygill
Image caption Three injured crew members have been transferred to specialist burns units

Three crew members were rescued from a cargo ship after suffering "significant" burns in an on-board explosion.

The coastguard was called to Hong Kong-registered Great Aspiration, off Lizard Point, Cornwall, at 15:15 BST on Wednesday.

A search and rescue helicopter winched three Chinese crew members off.

They were taken to Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, before being transferred to specialist burns units.

In a statement the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said: "The three injured crew are believed to have suffered significant burns."

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The 751ft (229m) ship is now moving from Mount's Bay to Falmouth where a fuller assessment of the damage to the vessel's hatches can be made.

The agency said the ship was about 30 miles (48km) south of Lizard Point when the explosion happened and two of the crewmen were transferred to the specialist burns unit at Swansea, while the other remained in Derriford.

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch has been informed, along with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency's duty surveyor, enforcement and counter-pollution team.

A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall Police said the force has been informed of an explosion in international waters but there was no suggestion of any suspicious circumstances.

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