Two die in trawler collision

An Israeli trawler sank off Haifa, killing two Slovakian crewmen.

A Cyprus-bound passenger ship that left Haifa late Thursday rammed into a trawler anchored outside the port, breaking it in two. Authorities blamed the accident on a navigation error.

Eleven of those aboard the trawler were rescued within hours as Israeli helicopters and naval craft rushed to the scene. But the first mate and engineer, both Slovaks, drowned and were discovered early Friday by Israeli divers.

The rescue operation was hampered by the fact that illumination flares could not be used, given the risk of igniting a large oil slick left by the foundering trawler.

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