BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — Azerbaijani health officials say three members of an Iranian ship crew have died from acute poisoning and another eight have been hospitalized.
The ship contacted Azerbaijani authorities to request assistance while approaching its destination, the port of Baku. An Azerbaijani coast guard boat delivered the ill members of the crew to the shore early Friday and they were hospitalized.
The ship’s captain stayed aboard and was given medical assistance, according to Azerbaijan’s health care ministry.
The Iranian ship was carrying a load of grain across the Caspian Sea from Aktau in Kazakhstan to Baku, Azerbaijan’s capital.
Ministry spokesman Parviz Abubekirov said preliminary information indicated that the crew had been poisoned by chemicals used to protect grain.
Officials had no immediate information about the total number of crewmembers and their nationalities.