SINGAPORE - An autopsy on the Vietnamese sailor who died in a Singapore hospital after armed pirates hijacked his ship has listed his cause of death as "gunshot wound to the head".
There was a circular wound on the left forehead of third engineer Tran Duc Dat, 34, and his skull had caved in slightly.
The VP Asphalt 2, an asphalt/bitumen tanker, was in the South China Sea, some 20 nautical miles south-east of Pulau Aur, Malaysia, when it was hijacked at around 5.30am on Sunday.
Seven armed pirates boarded and robbed crew members at gunpoint before leaving the ship at around 6.45am.
Mr Dat was found lying unconscious and bleeding in his bed and was airlifted to Singapore.
Yesterday, his wife, two elder sisters and a brother-in-law claimed his body from the mortuary, with representatives from the Vietnamese Embassy, ship owner VP Petrochemical Transport and shipping agent Lighthouse Ship Agency.
Mr Dat's 31-year-old wife, Ms Bui Thi Huyen (left) - a former accountant who quit her job to look after her two children aged three and five - said: "I feel very sad and hopeless. This is a big loss for the family."
Mr Dat also left behind sisters aged 33, 40 and 42, and retired parents aged 67 and 69.
His body will be flown back to Hanoi today.
VP Petrochemical Transport is bearing travel and accommodation costs for family members, as well as funeral costs.
This article was first published on December 10, 2014.
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.