5:18 pm | Wednesday, February 6th, 2013
MANILA, Philippines—A Filipino seafarer was killed when an unidentified group of pirates hijacked a chemical tanker off the coast of Nigeria on Feb. 4, the Department of Foreign Affairs said Wednesday.
Assistant Secretary Raul Hernandez, the DFA spokesperson, said pirates shot and killed the Filipino seaman when they boarded the Pyxis Delta, a tanker registered in the Marshall Islands, on Monday.
He was rushed to the nearest hospital but was declared dead upon arrival at the facility, Hernandez said.
Eight other Filipino crewmen who were also aboard the ship at the time of the hijacking are safe and are expected to be repatriated soon, Hernandez said.
“They are safe and in good health but we don’t have a full report and details about the incident,” he said.
The hostage-taking was apparently resolved immediately but Hernandez said the DFA has received only a sketchy preliminary report from the seamen’s local manning agent in Manila.
Details remain unclear as to how long the pirates held the ship and how and why they finally let go of the vessel and its crew.
The Pyxis Delta is now anchored off the Nigerian coast with its crew still on board, Hernandez said.
At least 23 Filipino seamen are still in the hands of pirates on three hijacked ships in Somalia, some already for months, the DFA said.