Authorities said on Tuesday that there is no risk of any spill from an oil tanker that caught fire off Lamma island, as they also clarified that the ship did not contain any dangerous chemicals as earlier feared.
Officials involved in the rescue operation said though the Aulac Fortune is now tilting 30 degrees, they don't see any immediate danger.
The Fire Services Department and marine police officials who briefed the media after a rescue operation lasting hours said they still hadn't gone aboard the ship as it is unstable.
Firefighters said they received a report about the fire at 11:29am and they arrived at the scene at 11:59am. They managed to put out the blaze by 4:30pm.
They said there were 25 Vietnamese crew members on board and four people on a barge which was there to refuel the ship.
The oil tanker was going from Dongguan to Thailand when it stopped in Hong Kong waters for refuelling.
The authorities said there were three explosions and these came as crew members were connecting pipes and preparing to refuel.
Pictures released by the Government Flying Service showed a huge hole on the deck of the burning ship.
Four injured crewmen are in hospital, with one in a serious condition suffering from burns.
They said 23 crew members were plucked from the sea.
Meanwhile, fishermen in the Lamma area have raised fears that any leak from the ship will affect their catch.
Agriculture and fisheries sector lawmaker Steven Ho said the government should quickly assess the situation and provide information on whether the effects of the incident could last for weeks.
Last updated: 2019-01-09 HKT 03:27