Burning Iranian tanker explodes and sinks, 'no hope of finding crew alive'

Elias Hubbard
January 14, 2018

A Chinese salvage team has recovered two bodies from a stricken Iranian oil tanker, that was still blazing a week after it caught fire and was left adrift following a collision in the East China Sea, state news agency Xinhua reports.

The Sanchi erupted into flames after colliding with a Hong Kong-registered freighter on January 6, CCTV reported.

Mohammad Rastad, a spokesman for an Iranian rescue team dispatched to the area, made the announcement on January 14.

Chinese rescuers on board the SANCHI off the coast of Shanghai on January 13, 2018.

Two bodies of crew members and the black box were found after four marine salvage workers from the Shanghai Salvage Bureau boarding on oil tanker SANCHI off the coast of Shanghai on January 13, according to the Wechat account of China's Ministry of Transport.

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

Hadi Haghshenas, deputy director for Iran's Ports and Maritime Organization, said on January 12 that the fire would have been extinguished sooner if explosions had not complicated the work of emergency crews.

The Panama-registered tanker was carrying 136,000 tons of condensate, an ultra-light crude that is highly flammable, to South Korea. "Two-thirds of the tanker is submerged, and the fire has spread to the entirety of the ship, and we can no longer approach it", he added.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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