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Death toll rises to 54 after Russian trawler sinks in Western Pacific: rescue center

60At least 54 people have died and 15 are missing after a Russian trawler sank late on Wednesday in the Western Pacific Ocean near the Kamchatka Peninsula, an officer at a maritime rescue coordination center in the area said.

Viktor Klepikov, coordinating captain of the Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky maritime rescue coordination center, told Reuters that there were 132 people on board the Dalniy Vostok freezer trawler. He said 63 people had been rescued.

Russian state-run news agency, TASS, earlier reported that there were 78 Russians on board the vessel as well as 54 foreign nationals from Myanmar Ukraine, Lithunia and Vanuatu.

It also said quoting a source in the regional emergencies ministries that the sinking was most probably due to a hole torn into the vessel by drifting ice.

“The ship did not send a distress signal,” the source reportedly said adding that those gravely injured would be flown to clinics of Magadan, which is closer to the wreck site than regional centre of Petropaviovsk-Kamchatsky.

26 fishing vessels were running the search operation.

It wrecked in the Sea of Okhotsk 330 kilometres west of Krutogorovsky settlement and 250 kilometres from Magdan. The trawler’s home port was Nevelsk.