The 21 Chinese crew members of the CF Crystal vessel, which had been carrying grain from the United States, were rescued.
Sanchi was carrying 1.36 lakh tons of condensate oil when it collided with CF Crystal, a Hong Kong-registered bulk freighter in waters about 160 nautical miles east of the Yangtze River estuary.
Explosions rocked a stricken Iranian oil tanker in the East China Sea on Wednesday, forcing maritime authorities to suspend firefighting and rescue efforts as a blaze raged on the vessel for the fourth day after a collision with a freight ship, Fox News reported.
The ministry reported that 14 vessels were searching for the missing sailors in the tanker's vicinity before the explosion.
The ship, which has been burning for nearly a week since it collided with another vessel on Saturday night, was about 300 kilometers (186 miles) northwest of Amami Oshima island as of Thursday afternoon, a coast guard spokesman said.
John Valley weather for January 10
Breezy, with a south southwest wind 8 to 13 miles per hour increasing to 18 to 23 miles per hour in the afternoon. SATURDAY: Snow showers will develop and linger into Saturday, with much colder temperatures returning.
Photos on the Chinese Ministry of Transportation's microblog showed thick black smoke pouring from the ship on Thursday morning.
Dozens of rescue boats battled strong winds, high waves and poisonous fumes to comb a 900-square-nautical-mile (3,100-square-kilometre) area for 31 missing sailors and tame the fire, amid growing concerns the listing ship may explode or sink.
Since then, the Panama-registered tanker Sanchi has been ablaze and drifting in the waters between Shanghai and southern Japan.
The tanker was carrying 136,000 tonnes of condensate, a highly flammable ultra-light crude, to South Korea, but it's unlikely the spill will reach the country's shores.
The cause of the collision is still unclear.
Park said it's unlikely the oil will spread to South Korea at the moment because the tanker has moved 100 kilometers (62 miles) to the southeast.
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