Tragedy Strikes: Seven Dead, 2 Missing as South Korean Tanker Capsizes Near Japan

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Seven people were killed and two others are still missing after a tanker from South Korea carrying acrylic acid capsized in the vicinity of an island off the coast of Japan.

The chemical tanker Keoyoung Sun is seen in images taken at the scene, flipped on its side near Japan’s Mutsure Island. One photo shows a first responder who was lowered by a helicopter to pull a person from the wreckage.

The Japan Coast Guard claims to have received a distress signal from the ship, stating that it was tilting as it sought shelter from bad weather. By the time, rescuers arrived the ship was upside-down with water washing its underside.

Authorities say that nine crew members have been located. Nine of the 11 crew members were rescued, including one from Indonesia. Two other crew members are still missing.

According to NHK News, the ship was headed from Himeji in Japan to Ulsan, South Korea. According to the coastguard, its captain was South Korean and that crew consisted of another South Korean, a Chinese, and eight Indonesians.

Officials said that the tanker carried 980 tons of acrylic acid. Officials have not detected any leakage, but are evaluating what environmental protection measures might be necessary in the event of a leak.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, acrylic acid can irritate the skin, mucous membranes, and eyes.

The cause of the capsize is not apparent at this time.