The burning Iranian tanker sinks into the China Sea
The flames and a thick black smoke envelop the remains of the Iranian tanker Sanchi in the waters of the China Sea, in a photograph published this Sunday, January 14, by the Chinese Ministry of Transport.
The Iranian tanker in flames in the sea of China sank eight days after colliding with a merchant, reported Sunday Chinese official media, while the thirty or so crew that were on board were still missing.
“According to the latest information from the Oceanic Public Administration, the [ship] ‘Sanchi’ sank completely,” the official Xinhua news agency said. There were 32 crew on the vessel (30 Iranians and two Bangladeshi). Three bodies have already been found.
Shortly before, an Iranian official had indicated that there were no chances of finding survivors. “The crew members of the ship died during the first hours after the accident due to the power of the explosion and the gas emanations,” Mohammad Rastad, spokesman for the rescue team sent by Tehran, told state television.
“There is no hope of finding survivors among the crew members,” he said.
The tanker “Sanchi”, with 136,000 tons of Iranian crude on board, caught fire on January 6 after colliding with a Chinese merchant. The accident occurred about 300 kilometers east of the Chinese city of Shanghai.
After the collision, the ship drifted into Japanese waters. The Panamanian pavilion tanker, 274 meters long, was heading towards South Korea. It belongs to the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC), which manages Iran’s tanker fleet.