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Whaling ship burns near Antarctica

February 16, 2007|From the Associated Press

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND — Crew members hooked up power cables today for fans to try to clear dense smoke from a Japanese whaling ship on fire near Antarctica.

The blaze aboard the drifting 8,000-ton Nisshin Maru, the mother ship of six vessels in a whaling fleet, left one crewman missing, raised concerns about a possible environmental disaster and threatened to cut short the controversial hunt.

No oil has spilled, but the ship is 110 miles from Cape Adare, where 250,000 pairs of Adelie penguins form the world's largest penguin rookeries.

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