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11 people missing as two ships collide off Hong Kong

By Paul Armstrong and Karen Chiu, CNN
updated 2:40 AM EDT, Thu September 4, 2014
The sea lanes around Hong Kong and southern China are among the busiest in the world.
The sea lanes around Hong Kong and southern China are among the busiest in the world.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • 300-meter container ship collided with smaller vessel off Hong Kong
  • One survivor, 11 others still missing, police say
  • Incident happened in the early hours of Monday

Hong Kong (CNN) -- A major search and rescue operation is underway after two cargo ships collided off the coast of Hong Kong early Monday.

One man was plucked from the water by a passing fishing boat but 11 others are missing, according to Hong Kong police.

The rescued man, a 46-year-old Chinese national, is being treated at a Hong Kong hospital, where his condition is stable.

The accident happened at around 2.30 a.m. local time when the Marshall Islands-registered MOL Motivator, a 300-meter long container ship, collided with a smaller Chinese vessel, the Zhong Xing 2.

The incident occurred three nautical miles southwest of Po Toi island, Marine Police told CNN.

The smaller ship, believed to be transporting cement at the time, then sank with its crew of 12, police said.

The MOL Motivator was leaving for Yantian in China's southern Guangdong Province from Hong Kong, according to local media reports.

The Guangdong Maritime Rescue Coordination Center is coordinating the search effort, though a helicopter and a number of rescue vessels from Hong Kong are part of the operation.

Cargo ships collide outside of Tokyo Bay

CNN's Esther Pang contributed reporting.

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