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Chemical tanker carrying 450 metric tonnes of caustic soda sinking off coast of Japan on the 30th Sep,2016

 

 A tanker carrying 450 metric tonnes of sodium hydroxide was found sinking off the southern coast of Yamaguchi prefecture, Japan, on Friday.

Operators said all four crew members of the tanker have been rescued.

According to Japan's Tokuyama Coast Guard, the ship began listing about five minutes after departing the port of Tokuyamakudamatsu a little after 10am local time (1am GMT). An emergency call was made by the ship's operator at 10.45am local time.

Though the cause remains unknown, the Coast Guard said it will be sending divers to investigate the ship's condition and consider moving the ship's payload onto another vessel.

Sodium hydroxide, also known as lye or caustic soda, is a common chemical used in the production of household products such as detergents and soap.

It generates intense heat once mixed with water and can cause burns to the skin and eyes.