Divers Locate Missing Captain Following Japan Tanker Blast

Smoke rises from the 998-ton fuel tanker Shoko Maru after it exploded off the coast of Himeji, western Japan, May 29, 2014. REUTERS/5th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters
Smoke rises from the 998-ton fuel tanker Shoko Maru after it exploded off the coast of Himeji, western Japan, May 29, 2014. REUTERS/5th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters

The body of the missing captain of a Japanese oil tanker that exploded off the country’s southwest coast has been found, the coastguard has announced.

Divers located the body of Captain Masaichi Ando on Saturday in the hold of the 998-ton oil tanker Shoko Maru, which exploded and sank last Thursday off Himeji port.

Captain Ando was the only one of 8 crew members reported missing following the blast. Seven others were rescued, including four with severe burns.

Photos and Video: Shoko Maru Tanker Explodes Off Japan

The explosion and fire erupted last Thursday morning, reportedly as crews were using a grinder to remove rust from the vessel. The tanker, which had discharged its oil cargo days before, sank some 10 hours after the initial blast.

The ship is owned by Syoho Shipping Co. based in Hiroshima prefecture, Japan.