Nine sailors died and five were injured in a Christmas Day ship fire off a Venezuelan Caribbean island, the official Venezuelan news agency ABN reported on Friday.

It quoted Admiral Carlos Maximo Aniasi as saying the nine dead were found on the Greek freighter Aegean Sea, where a fire broke out near the Venezuelan island of La Blanquilla,

The nine sailors who were found dead had been reported as missing earlier in the day, ABN quoted the naval commander as saying.