Uruguayan officials confirmed Thursday they had found the charred remains of eleven crewmembers from a Ukrainian longliner that caught fire in the port of Montevideo.
"All the bodies were completely incinerated and found in the cabins area", said Jorge Rosqueta spokesperson for the Uruguayan Fire Department adding that in the next hours forensic experts will begin working to try and identify them.
The "Seimez" docked in Montevideo harbour last Monday to unload its catch of toothfish and the 39 crew members were given time off.
Most crew members were visiting Uruguay or neighbouring countries when the longliner caught fire early Wednesday morning.
Firemen and port authorities decided to tug the vessel to the bay given the intensity of the blaze plus the fact it had recently refuelled 300 tons and was also carrying 6,000 litres of ammonia for the freezing system.
Uruguayan authorities managed to track all sailors with the exception of eleven including the Ukrainian captain. Nine others were Chinese and one from Indonesia.
"The remaining 28 crewmembers are in good health", revealed Mr. Rosqueta.
The blaze lasted over fifteen hours and was fought from tugs with high pressure hoses.
"Once the vessel cools and we can pump out the water poured in, the Seimez will be docked and the cause of the fire will be investigated".
Mr. Rosqueta said the ammonia and heavy fuel "fortunately" remained intact.