Three people were killed Friday when a Cambodian-flagged cargo ship sank off the coast of Japan, according to news agency reports. Both Chinese state news agency Xinhua and Agence-France Presse said a total of 10 people were aboard the 1,915-ton ship when it began to sink late Thursday off the coast of Aomori prefecture in the Sea of Japan.
The 10 crewmembers were pulled from the water and taken to a local hospital, where three died, the reports said. AFP reported that two of the dead men were Chinese nationals while the third was Burmese.
However, Xinhua reported that the third dead crewmember was Cambodian.
“Two of the victims came from China and one from Cambodia. Another two Bangladeshis and five Chinese crew members have been rescued,” Xinhua reported. Cambodia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs could not be reached for comment.
The government in 2003 sold rights to register vessels under a Cambodian flag to a company based in South Korea. Numerous ships flying the Cambodian “flag of convenience” have sunk or been involved in maritime incidents over the past decade.