Cargo ship ‘explodes after hitting Russian mine in Black Sea’

Cargo ship ‘explodes after hitting Russian mine in Black Sea’
Cargo ship ‘explodes after hitting Russian mine in Black Sea’
Cargo ship ‘explodes after hitting Russian mine in Black Sea’

A picture shows the explosion on board (Picture: AFP)
A picture shows the explosion on board (Picture: AFP)

A ship hit a Russian mine in the Black Sea, triggering an explosion on board, Ukrainian officials claimed on Thursday.

The Panama-flagged bulk carrier was headed to a Danube River port in the Odesa region.

This is the latest incident of a vessel hitting an explosive in the sea in what Ukraine describes as stepped-up attacks on shipping and port infrastructure.

Chaos ensued on the upper deck as flames broke out, leaving the captain and one of the sailors injured.

This handout picture released by the Ukrainian Border Guards Press Service on December 28, 2023 shows a commercial ship damaged by Russian naval mine in the Black Sea in the Black Sea. Ukraine's border guards said on December 28, 2023 that a commercial ship arriving to collect grain had hit a Russian naval mine in the Black Sea, injuring two. The unnamed Panama-flagged cargo ship was heading towards one of Ukraine's Danube ports when it hit a mine, sparking a fire and injuring two sailors, the border force said. (Photo by HANDOUT / UKRAINIAN BORDER GUARDS PRESS SERVICE / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT
The incident happened in the early hours on Thursday morning (Picture: AFP)
This handout picture released by the Ukrainian Border Guards Press Service on December 28, 2023 shows a commercial ship damaged by Russian naval mine in the Black Sea in the Black Sea. Ukraine's border guards said on December 28, 2023 that a commercial ship arriving to collect grain had hit a Russian naval mine in the Black Sea, injuring two. The unnamed Panama-flagged cargo ship was heading towards one of Ukraine's Danube ports when it hit a mine, sparking a fire and injuring two sailors, the border force said. (Photo by HANDOUT / UKRAINIAN BORDER GUARDS PRESS SERVICE / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT
Coast guards were deployed to the scene help the crew (Picture: AFP)

Coast guards were deployed to the scene help the crew as they lost control of the vessel.

The sailor, an Egyptian citizen, was taken to hospital in the city of Izmail, the head of the Odesa regional prosecutor’s office said at a briefing.

‘A Panama-flagged civilian ship was blown up on an enemy sea mine in the Black Sea,’ Ukraine’s southern military command said on Telegram.

‘The vessel lost its course and control, and a fire broke out on the upper deck.’

Russia has increased attacks on Ukraine’s port infrastructure since mid-July, when it quit a United Nations-brokered deal that allowed the safe passage of Ukrainian grain shipments via the Black Sea.

Ukraine is one of the world’s top grain exporters, and at least 65% of the wheat exported through the Black Sea Grain Initiative was destined for developing countries.

Apart from the danger that mines in the water pose, drones have been striking the inland Danube ports of Reni and Izmail, just a few hundred meters from Nato territory.

Before Russia pulled out of the deal, these accounted for around a quarter of Ukraine’s grain exports. 

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