Two fishermen were killed and one went missing after a cargo ship from Panama hit a fishing boat in the sea off Kochi in the wee hours of Sunday.

Tamil Nadu native Thambidurai and Assamese migrant worker Rahul have been identified as the victims, according to reports, while the missing fisherman is understood to be from Uttar Pradesh. Three other persons, who suffered severe injuries, have been admitted to a hospital in Fort Kochi.

The fishing boat from Thoppumpady met with the accident and capsized around 20 nautical miles off the Kochi coast at around 2 am on Sunday, and was completely destroyed in the accident. There were 14 people in the boat, and most of them were rescued by another fishing vessel, averting an even bigger tragedy. 

The coast guard and Indian Navy have taken the Panama cargo ship, named Amber L, into custody and are conducting enquiries. It is understood that the ship's lights were off at the time of the accident and it tried to sail off from the Kochi coast soon after the collision.

The ship's captain, a Green national, has been detained with charges of murder. Coastal police chief Tomin J Thachenkery said the cargo vessel's crime was that even after it hit the fishing boat, it failed to provide any help.

This is the second such incident involving a foreign ship in the Kerala coast. In February 2012, two fishermen were killed after being fired upon by Italian marines on-board commercial oil tanker MV Enrica Lexie.