QINGDAO, Oct. 20 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese company confirmed Tuesday that 25 Chinese crewmembers were being held hostage by pirates in the Indian Ocean.
The bulk carrier De Xin Hai and its 25 crew were hijacked in the Indian Ocean around noon local time Monday.
"We received a report from the cargo ship at 3:50 p.m. (Beijing Time) Monday, saying that armed pirates were aboard the ship, and then we lost touch," a spokesman for the vessel's owner, Qingdao Ocean Shipping Co., Ltd., told Xinhua Tuesday.
The company, based in eastern Shandong Province, immediately reported the incident to the China Maritime Search and Rescue Center, he said.
"All of the 25 crew were employed by our company, and we have notified their relatives about the incident," he said.
Twenty-two of the crew were from Shandong and the other three were from Liaoning, Hebei and Jiangsu provinces.
"We are closely working with the authorities to release the ship and crew," he said.