Published: Mon, January 15, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

'No hope of survivors' in Iranian tanker fire, says official

'No hope of survivors' in Iranian tanker fire, says official

A burning Iranian oil tanker that had drifted into Japan's exclusive economic zone has sunk one week after it collided with another vessel, Chinese state television has said. A State Oceanic Administration official reached by phone said the administration is collecting data from the spill area, and the administration said on its website that the spill will have an impact on the environment.

Rescue workers boarded the tanker yesterday and found the bodies of two crew members.

Rouhani further called on the relative bodies to carry out the necessary legal actions for preventing similar incidents from happening, and securing the rights of the Iranian nation and the bereaved families.

The oil from the tanker was still burning, China Central Television reported on Sunday.

Rescue efforts have been hampered due to weather conditions and "repeated explosions and gas leaks".

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Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi had told his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif by phone that "as long as there is one per cent of hope, China will continue to make 100 per cent effort" to rescue and recover other members of the crew.

Chinese rescuers Saturday also recovered the tanker's "black box", the transport ministry said without specifying exactly what had been retrieved.

The Sanchi, carrying 136,000 tons of light crude oil from Iran, had been in flames since colliding with the CF Crystal, a Hong Kong-registered bulk freighter, 160 nautical miles east of Shanghai on January 6. However, the condensate oil the ship was carrying readily evaporates or burns off in a fire, reducing the chance of a major oil spill.

Rescue efforts had been particularly hard because at 89 degrees Celsius, the vessel's compartments were too hot for workers to withstand for long, CCTV quoted He Wang, an expert from Chinese oil company Huade Petrochemical, as saying.

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