Jan. 22 (UPI) -- The number of crew members killed when two cargo ships exploded into flames in the Black Sea rose to 14 on Tuesday as officials called off rescue operations saying no more survivors would be found.
"As of 6 a.m., the status of the operation has been reclassified to search from rescue because there is no hope to find survivors," a spokesperson for the Russian Federal Agency for Maritime and River Transport told Tass as the fire was still blazing.
On Monday, the fire erupted when one ship was transferring fuel to the other, sending both crews into the ocean to escape the blaze.
Fourteen dead have so far been accounted for with five still missing, reported the Telegraph.
Only 12 crew members of a total 31 survived.
A tow boat transported the rescued sailors and the bodies of their dead crew members to the Ukrainian city of Kerch.
One of the vessels, Candy, had 17 crew members, including nine Turkish and eight Indian nationals. The other, Maestro, had 15 crew members, seven were Turkish, seven were Indian and one was a Libyan intern, Tass reported.
Both ships were flying the Tanzanian flag.
The explosion occurred in neutral waters near the Kerch Straight.