March 22, 2018

Rescue operations on Sanchi oil tanker blast underway by all means

14 January 2018, 02:42 | Opal Carroll

Chinese rescuers find two bodies on burning oil tanker

Ministry of China shows smoke and flames coming from the burning oil tanker Sanchi before it sank

The stricken tanker, called the Sanchi, which had been adrift and on fire for more than a week following the accident with another vessel in the East China Sea, had "suddenly ignited" around noon local time on Sunday, China Central Television said.

An Iranian oil tanker burst into flames from end to end and sank Sunday, eight days after a collision with a cargo ship off China, state media said.

The Sanchi tanker has been ablaze since it collided with Hong Kong-registered freight ship CF Crystal, 185 miles off China's coast near Shanghai.

Mahmoud Rastad, the chief of Iran's maritime agency, told Iranian state TV: 'There is no hope of finding survivors among the 29 members of the crew'.

The vessel, which "suddenly ignited" at midday (4am United Kingdom time) on January 6, is in danger of capsizing "at any time", according to Chinese state television.

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The Sanchi, owned by National Iranian Tanker Co, was carrying nearly 1 million barrels of condensate, an ultra-light crude oil, to South Korea. Three bodies have been recovered from the sea, leaving 29 crew members still unaccounted for.

All political and logistical capacities of Iran should be mobilized to rescue the tanker crew, the vice president added.

The cause of the collision remains unclear.

Rescue efforts have been hampered due to weather conditions and "repeated explosions and gas leaks". Another body, presumed to be one of the Sanchi's sailors, was found on Monday and brought to Shanghai for identification.

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