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DFA: Prayers offered for missing Pinoy seaman after tanker explosion in Portugal

March 13, 2013 8:30am
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said prayers were offered for a Filipino seaman who went missing after an explosion on a tanker off Portugal on March 6.

A team from the Philippine Embassy on March 9 brought a Lisbon-based Filipino priest who officiated a Mass for the 13 remaining Filipino crewmembers of the MT Harbour Krystal, the DFA said.

"Filipino chaplain Rev. Father Jovito Osalvo prayed over the officers and crew of the MT Harbour Krystal, especially the missing Filipino seafarer," the DFA said in a news release.

Osalvo also offered prayers for the emotional and spiritual healing of the crew, the DFA said.

Some of the Filipino crewmembers still showed signs of trauma and have had trouble sleeping since the accident happened, it added.

During the visit of the embassy team, led by Third Secretary and Vice Consul Rogelio Villanueva Jr., "the Filipino crew recounted to the Embassy team their frightening experience when they heard a loud blast followed by fire and thick black smoke coming from the forecastle," the DFA said.

"Despite extreme heat and danger from the fire spreading to the other tanks containing highly flammable cargo, the Filipino crew courageously stood their ground and succeeded in putting out the fire after more than an hour," it added.

According to the Maritime Rescue Coordinating Center (MRCC) Lisbon, the Bahamas-flagged chemical tanker owned by Nordic Tankers of Denmark suffered an explosion on March 6 in the forward compartment.

The explosion caused a huge fire in the ship carrying a cargo of light virgin naptha.

The accident happened 30 miles south of Lisbon as the ship was sailing from Port de Bouc in France to Amsterdam.

"Despite extensive search operations conducted by Portuguese maritime and air units, the Filipino seaman remains missing," the DFA said.

The MT Harbour Crystal was anchored off the Port of Setubal in Portugal after the explosion. - VVP, GMA News
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