Stricken Iranian oil tanker drifts into Japan's economic zone, coast guard says

Stricken Iranian oil tanker drifts into Japan's economic zone, coast guard says

The body of one crew member was found in the water near the tanker yesterday.

An Iranian oil-carrying tanker had a massive collision with a Chinese freight ship in the East China Sea on Saturday.

The ministry official said the authorities suspected the tanker caught fire as soon as it hit the freighter.

The 21 Chinese crew membesr of the Crystal, which did not burst into flames, were all rescued.

The cause of the collision and damage to the tanker were not clear.

The tanker Sanchi (IMO:9356608), run by Iran's top oil shipping operator, National Iranian Tanker Co, collided on Saturday with the CF Crystal (IMO:9497050), carrying grain from the United States, about 160 nautical miles (300 km) off China's coast near Shanghai.

The explosion on the Sanchi's bow was the latest setback in the multinational effort to extinguish the blaze and forced rescue vessels to move to a safe distance, China's Ministry of Transport said.

It was equivalent to about 1 million barrels and worth about $US60 million.

Iranian oil tanker in East China Sea could burn for a month, South Korean official says
Iranian oil tanker rocked by explosion off China, rescue efforts suspended

The size of the oil slick caused by the accident is not known. Unlike the thick crude that gushed out of the Valdez, much of the light, gassy condensate from the Sanchi may have evaporated or burned immediately, Kwon said.

After Iran said Wednesday there was still a chance for survivors, media reports said parts of its tanker ablaze off the coast of China had exploded.

A Hanwha Total spokesman, who asked not to be named citing office policies, said there is "little possibility" that condensate would leave traces in the ocean after it burned.

National Iranian Tanker Company spokesman Mohsen Bahrami said it was "likely" rescuers would find survivors among the 31 missing crew members on the Sanchi vessel. "We can not say all of them have died, because rescue teams are there and providing services".

It is the second crash by an Iranian oil tanker to take place in 18 months, after an Iranian supertanker crashed with a container ship in the Singapore Strait back in July 2016.

Iranian officials earlier in the day held out hope that some members of the crew were still alive, as some of the submerged sections of the Sanchi tanker could be cool enough to stay alive.

The official said the tanker was owned by the National Iranian Tanker Co. and had been rented by a South Korean company, Hanwha Total Co.

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