Kuala Lumpur: An Indian sailor was feared dead while 22 others were rescued from a burning Indian-owned tanker off the Malaysian coast on Monday.

MT Samudera's engine room caught fire at 2.40pm (local time) but the Southern region Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) was only alerted of the situation at 4.40pm, a Malaysian maritime official said.

The 22 crew all-Indian nationals are currently undergoing routine medical observation at the Pontian Hospital, the official said.

"The crew said the fire started at the engine room about 2.45pm and spread rapidly, though they tried to put it out. They also said that they were not ferrying any combustible items, or fuel. We will conduct checks tomorrow to estimate the extent of damage," the MMEA official said.

MT Samudera was heading to Chittagong port in Bangladesh from the Indonesian island of Batam when the fire broke out.


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