Tokyo, Japan: Search is on for eleven missing Indian crew members of a merchant vessel that sank in the Pacific off the Philippines due to a typhoon, Japanese coast guard informed. Reports said that at 15 out of 26 Indian sailors aboard were rescued.

The 33,205-tonne Emerald Star with 26 Indian nationals on board had sent a distress signal. At that time, the ship, registered in Hong Kong was sailing 280 kilometres east of the northern tip of the Philippines.

The Japanese coast guard said that it sent two patrol boats and three planes at the site for search and rescue, but a typhoon was making the operation difficult.

The Ministry of External Affairs has said that Indian missions in Japan, Philippines and China were on the job. More details awaited.