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Indian tanker catches fire off Malaysia, one feared dead

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This photo, released by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency on July 14, 2013, shows smoke rising from the MT Samudera ship at the Kukup Jetty Terminal in Pontian, Johor, southern Malaysia. The Indian-owned tanker headed to Bangladesh with 23 onboard caught fire in Malaysian waters, with one sailor feared dead. (Malaysian Maritime/AFP)

An Indian-owned tanker headed to Bangladesh with 23 onboard caught fire in Malaysian waters, with one sailor feared dead, according to a maritime official.

The fire that broke out late Sunday in the engine room had now been contained, said western Johor state maritime enforcement chief Aminuddin Abdul Rashid.

"One crew member who was working in the engine room is unaccounted for and we believe he is dead," he told AFP.

The Indian-owned tanker MT Samudera -- carrying 23 Indian nationals -- was heading to Chittagong from the Indonesian island of Batam.

"The tanker ship which usually carries fuel oil was not carrying any cargo. We rescued 22 crew members," Aminuddin said.

"The tanker is not a threat to passing ships because it is outside the busy Malacca Strait," he said, adding there was no immediate danger of the ship sinking.