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One dead, 11 missing after Turkish cargo ship sinks in Black Sea in severe storms

ANKARA (AP) – Turkish rescuers yesterday recovered the body of a crew member of a cargo ship that sank off Turkiye’s Black Sea coast in severe storms, officials said. Eleven other crew were reported missing.

The Turkish-flagged Kafkametler sank on Sunday after hitting a breakwater outside the harbour off the town of Eregli, some 200 kilometres east of Istanbul. Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Abdulkadir Uraloglu said the vessel, which was on its way to the western Turkish port of Izmir, lashed into the breakwater several times before it sank.

The search-and-rescue operation was delayed by several hours because of the severe weather. But as the condition eased, rescuers yesterday found the body of the ship’s cook, Uraloglu said.

The severe storms that hit northwestern Turkiye caused widespread damage and disruption on Sunday, including the breakup of another cargo ship and the evacuation of a prison.

The Cameroon-flagged Pallada broke into two due to heavy weather conditions after running aground in five-metre waves off Eregli, the Maritime General Directorate said. All 13 crew were rescued safely.

Justice Minister Yilmaz Tunc said inmates had been transferred from Eregli’s prison to surrounding facilities due to rising water levels.

Elsewhere in Turkiye, four people were killed after being swept by floodwaters caused by heavy rains in the southeastern provinces of Diyarbakir and Batman, officials said. The victims included a mother and her two children. A third child was still missing. Some 50 people were hurt in the floods.

In neighbouring Bulgaria, gale-force winds and heavy rain and snow claimed the lives of two people on Sunday and disrupted power supplies. Officials declared a state of emergency in the Black Sea city of Varna.

A policeman walks in front of a bus gone off the road near town of Dobrich, Bulgaria. PHOTO: AP