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Ship sinks after collision outside Turkish straits

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February 19, 2001 


ISTANBUL--(AP) - A ship bearing scrap iron sank at the entrance of Istanbul's Bosporus strait Sunday after colliding with a Malaysian-flagged cargo. All crew members were rescued, officials said.

The 114-meter (375-foot) Robel, registered in the West African Archipelago of Sao Tome and Principe, crashed into the Bunga Melor Satu early Sunday when both ships tried to enter the strait simultaneously.

The Robel was seriously damaged and sank soon afterwards. The 12 crew members were evacuated, said Hucan Tulgar of Istanbul's coast guard. The Malaysian ship carrying sugar was in no danger of sinking, authorities said.

Coast guard officials said there was no disruption to traffic in the strait as a result of the accident.

Over the past decade, there have been hundreds of accidents in the narrow strait, which bisects this city of 12 million people. Turkey recently launched a multi-million dollar project to install radar to monitor ships passing through the straits to reduce the risk of accidents.

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