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14 people missing after barge capsizes in Singapore waters

Fourteen people — 13 Chinese nationals and a Malaysian — were missing Wednesday after their sand-carrier barge capsized in Singapore waters, officials said, as authorities despatched naval and coast guard vessels to search for them.

Singapore`s Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) said it had received reports that one Chinese crew member was rescued by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency.

The MPA said it received a report Wednesday morning that a Bolivian registered sand-carrier, Oceanline SC208, had capsized off Pedra Branca, a Singaporean-owned islet near the maritime border with Malaysia.

“According to the vessel`s agent, there were 15 crew members onboard at the time of the incident,” the MPA said in a statement.

It said one crew member had been “reportedly rescued” by the Malaysians.

“Fourteen crew members are still unaccounted for: one is a Malaysian and the rest are Chinese nationals,” the MPA said.

The authority said Singapore is coordinating search and rescue operations, which currently involve two MPA vessels, two vessels from the Republic of Singapore Navy as well as Singapore Police Coast Guard and Malaysian vessels.

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