TOKYO - Four crew members have been rescued and 12 others are missing after a Chinese mainland fishing vessel collided with a tanker from Hong Kong off Japan on Thursday morning.
A search was ongoing Thursday night for those missing from the fishing vessel.
The fishing vessel, with the 16 crew members aboard, was identified as the 290-metric ton Lurong Yuanyu 378 and the tanker from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region was the 63,294-ton tanker Bright Oil Lucky carrying 21 crew members, who were believed to be safe, the AFP news service reported, citing a Japanese Coast Guard official.
The collision was in international waters some 400 kilometers north of the Oki Islands in western Japan, the Chinese consulate-general in Osaka said.
Japan sent three patrol vessels to the area where the collision occurred, and the Japanese Coast Guard set up a response unit, the consulate-general said.
The fishing boat capsized after colliding with the tanker, the Associated Press reported.
The consulate-general sent a working to the scene to help with the search and rescue operation. It is keeping in contact with the Japanese Coast Guard.