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7 Die, 16 Injured in Greek Ship Blast

Associated Press

An explosion that may have been caused by a welder’s torch ripped through a Greek oil tanker Tuesday, splitting the vessel in half and leaving seven people dead and 16 injured, officials said.

In addition to the ship’s 28-member crew, about 25 workers were on board the green-and-white vessel for cleaning and maintenance work, officials said.

Many of those injured suffered severe burns. The force of the explosion also shattered windows in stores and offices around Perama.

Harbor authorities in the industrial port 10 miles west of Athens ruled out the possibility of a terrorist attack. Instead, they theorized that the explosion on board the 86,000-ton Anangel Greatness may have been caused by gas fumes left in the vessel’s empty tanks.

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Investigators speculate that welders working on the ship during routine maintenance and cleaning may have ignited the 10:15 a.m. blast.


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