SEOUL ( edited from AFP) – A South Korean container ship has been attacked by pirates in the Indian Ocean and gone missing, its owner said Thursday.
The 75,000-ton Hanjin Tianjin with 14 South Koreans and six Indonesians on board reported an attack at 5.15am Thursday Korean time (2015 GMT Wednesday), Seoul-based Hanjin Shipping said in a statement.
“We have been informed that today our mother vessel … has been attacked by the pirates near the Gulf of Aden while heading to Singapore,” said the nation’s largest shipping company.
The shipper had lost contact with the crew since the attack 400 kilometres (250 miles) east of the Yemeni island of Socotra near the Gulf of Aden, a Hanjin spokeswoman said.
The ship’s last port call was in Gibraltar. It can carry 6,500 containers.
A South Korean destroyer, the Choi Young, which patrols the pirate-infested waters off Somalia, is racing towards the scene, YTN news channel quoted a military official as saying.
Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff declined to confirm the YTN report, saying they were still gathering information.