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Seven people are dead and two are missing Wednesday after a South Korean tanker carrying acrylic acid capsized near an island in southwestern Japan. 

Images taken from the scene show the chemical tanker Keoyoung Sun flipped over in the water near Japan’s Mutsure Island. In one photo, a first responder lowered from a helicopter was seen pulling up an individual from the wreckage. 

Japan’s Coast Guard says it received a distress call from the ship claiming that it was tilting while seeking refuge from weather in the area. But by the time rescuers arrived, the ship was upside down with water washing over its underside. 

The ship was carrying 11 crew, nine of which have been found, authorities say. One of the crew members rescued was from Indonesia while another is in unknown condition. Two others remain missing. 

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South Korea tanker capsizes

A South Korean tanker is seen capsized off Mutsure Island in southwestern Japan on Wednesday, March 20. The coast guard said it received a distress call from the Keoyoung Sun chemical tanker, saying that it was tilting and was taking refuge near the Island.  (Kyodo News via AP)

The ship was heading from the Japanese port of Himeji to Ulsan in South Korea, according to NHK News. Its captain was South Korean, and its crew included another South Korean national, a Chinese national and eight Indonesians, according to the coast guard. 

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Rescue operations after tanker capsizes near Japan

Two people have been rescued from the capsized tanker near Japan’s Mutsure Island while two others remain missing. Seven have died. (Kyodo News via AP)

The tanker was carrying 980 tons of acrylic acid, officials said. No leak has been detected, and officials are studying what environmental protection measures may be needed in case there is a leak. 

Acrylic acid is used in plastics, resin and coatings and can irritate the skin, eyes and mucous membranes, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 

South Korea tanker flipped over in water

The Keoyoung Sun tanker is seen flipped over in the water on Wednesday, March 20. (Kyodo News via AP)

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It’s not immediately clear how the ship capsized. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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