• Kyodo

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A sailor on a Russian freighter at Niigata port died Tuesday from a fire that erupted in tires aboard ship, the Japan Coast Guard said.

Old tires aboard the 753-ton Professor Fedynskiy caught fire, killing engineer Seregin Yevgene, 40, coast guard officials said, adding they received a phone call from the ship’s agent at around 9 a.m., saying the smell of burning tires had been detected.

Yevgene and another engineer, Surdin Alexey, 25, who had been among the crew trying to extinguish the fire, were found lying on the floor. They were taken to a hospital, but Yevgene was later confirmed dead.

The cause of the fire was not immediately known.

The ship entered Niigata port on Thursday with 39 Russian crew members, and took on a load of old tires and used vehicles. It was to leave for Russia Wednesday morning.

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