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MANILA, Philippines – A Russian missile that damaged a civilian vessel docked near Odesa, Ukraine, injured three Filipinos on board and a port employee, the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) said on Friday, November 10.
The DMW initially announced on Thursday, November 9, that four Filipinos had been injured. It clarified on Friday that the Philippine manning agency made a mistake in the initial information it submitted.
The Liberian-flagged ship, the Kmax Ruler, was docked at the port of Pivdennyi near Odesa when the missile hit. The incident also resulted in one death – the Ukrainian pilot on board.
“The missile hit the superstructure of a civilian vessel under the flag of Liberia, at the moment of its entry into the port,” Ukraine’s southern military command said on Telegram.
The Filipino seafarers who suffered injuries included the ship’s captain, third mate, and engine trainee, according to the DMW.
“Thankfully, they were far enough from the point of impact and suffered non-fatal injuries. They are all out of danger,” said DMW Officer-in-Charge Hans Cacdac.
The engine trainee sustained a fracture on his left hand and is receiving treatment in an Odesa hospital, while the captain and third mate suffered minor injuries.
The DMW has instructed the seafarers’ manning agency and ship owner to provide all necessary assistance to the injured crew. The department is also in touch with the seafarers’ families.
On Friday, Cacdac and DMW Assistant Secretary for Sea-based Concerns Jerome Pampolina virtually met with the captain and about 20 other Filipino seafarers who are part of the crew.
“All Filipino seafarers are safe,” the DMW said.
The vessel was supposed to transport iron ore to China, according to Ukraine Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov.
After pulling out of the United Nations-brokered deal that guaranteed safe shipments of Ukrainian grain via the Black Sea, Russia has been repeatedly attacking Ukrainian port infrastructure.
Kubrakov said that Russia carried out at least 21 targeted attacks on port infrastructure after withdrawing from the deal.
The export deal brokered by the United Nations and Turkey collapsed in July, as Russia denounced its provisions. Russia said its demands for the lifting of sanctions on its grain and fertilizer exports had not been met.
Kyiv has since opened what it says is a temporary humanitarian corridor in a bid to break Russia’s de facto blockade. – with reports from Reuters/Rappler.com