CAIRO: Eleven crew members of an Egyptian merchant ship returned to Cairo on Monday, three days after their cargo vessel was hit by a Hezbollah rocket during an attack on an Israeli warship off the Lebanese capital Beirut. One injured crew member remained in a Syrian hospital.
The Cambodian-flagged Moonlight, bound for the Syrian port of Tartus with a cargo of cement, was struck by a rocket on Friday and set on fire.
Suddenly there was a loud explosion near the fuel tanks which caught fire. The crew members were unable to extinguish it, ship captain Abdel-Hamid Abdel-Fattah told reporters.
Mohammed Al-Redi of the Al-Redi Agency that owned the ship said last week that the Moonlight was 35 km off of the Lebanese coast when it was hit, well outside the 3-mile blockade Israel imposed on the Lebanese shoreline.
Abdel-Fattah said another Egyptian ship, the Al-Marwa, also carrying cement and owned by the same company, rescued the crew and took it to Syria. Both vessels had left the Egyptian port of Damietta on Wednesday