Coast Guard finds 2 dead on Chinese ship in Zambo

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MV Qing May, a Chinese vessel registered in Liberia, asked for assistance from the Zamboanga Coast Guard early Sunday morning (April 12).

(CNN Philippines) — A Chinese vessel with two dead crewmen and a wounded sailor on board sought medical assistance from Philippine Coast Guard officials in Zamboanga City early Sunday morning (April 12).

According to Lt. Jr. Grade Jimmy Berbo, commander of the Zamboanga Coast Guard, they immediately dispatched emergency medical assistance to MV Qing May, a Chinese vessel registered in Liberia, after the ship radioed for help while sailing near Sinunuc village along Zamboanga's western coastline at around 12:30 a.m.

Found inside the vessel were two dead Chinese nationals, identified as Engineer Xie Lhichao, 28, and Zhang Weenjo, 35, the chief cook. The third sailor, Liao Shiguo, a 49-year-old electrical engineer, suffered from a cut on his head and was immediately brought to a hospital in Zamboanga.

Initial investigations indicate that the crew members were having an argument when the incident turned into a bloody melee.

Berbo said the axe used to attack Liao was apparently still stuck in his head when help came. This, however, remained unconfirmed pending full investigation on the incident.

Authorities said they were having difficulty obtaining information since none of the crew members speak English.

Shengbo Wang, the captain of the MV Qing May, has been asked to prepare his affidavit on the incident.

MV Qing May, described as a bulk carrier loaded with iron ore, reportedly came from Walcott Australia and was on its way to China when the incident occurred.

It is expected to depart for China after the inspection. The injured crew member, however, will stay in Zamboanga while he recovers from his injury.

CNN Philippines' string correspondent Liza Jocson contributed to this report.