Burning Iranian oil tanker finally sinks

سانچی

Tehran (ISNA) – A burning Iranian oil tanker that had drifted into Japan's exclusive economic zone has sunk after a collision on Jan. 6, the CEO of Ports and Maritime Organization of Iran said on Sunday.

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 (0400 GMT).

The CEO of Ports and Maritime Organization of Iran Mohammad Rastad confirmed that all the 32 crew members of the Iranian oil tanker Sanchi have killed in the Chinese waters.

“As the Sanchi has sunk, we can confirm that there is no hope of finding survivors among the missing 29 members of the crew and all the 32 crew members of it have killed,”the CEO of Ports and Maritime Organization of Iran Mohammad Rastad who has traveled to China to pursue the latest condition of the oil tanker said.

The tanker has been adrift and on fire for more than a week following a collision with another vessel in the East China Sea.

The Sanchi, carrying 136,000 tonnes of light crude oil from Iran, has been in flames since colliding with the CF Crystal, a Hong Kong-registered bulk freighter, 160 nautical miles east of Shanghai on January 6.

It remains unclear if there has been a significant oil leak into the sea.

Rastad said information from members of the Crystal crew suggested all the personnel on the Sanchi were killed in the first hour of the accident “due to the explosion and the release of gas”.

“Despite our efforts, it has not been possible to extinguish the fire and recover the bodies due to repeated explosions and gas leaks,” he said.

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