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Four Japanese sailors injured in destroyer fire

world Updated: Dec 15, 2007 12:06 IST

Four sailors were hurt when a fire broke out on a Japanese destroyer docked near Tokyo, defence officials said on Saturday.

The fire occurred late on Friday on the 5,200-ton destroyer Shirane, docked at its home port of Yokosuka just outside Tokyo, as its 80 crew were preparing to go to bed, according to Maritime Self-Defence Forces spokesman Noriyuki Tanaka said.

The four sailors were treated at a nearby hospital for smoke inhalation during firefighting efforts, Tanaka said. They were not seriously hurt, he said.

The fire was extinguished about seven hours later early on Saturday, and navy police and officials were investigating the cause, Tanaka said. There was no immediate sign of arson, he added.

The 27-year-old Shirane was scheduled to put to sea on Saturday, but will now require work before it can leave, Tanaka said.