All the crew on the oil tanker that burst into flames after a collision with a Chinese cargo ship have been lost. The Sanchi, carrying 136,000 tonnes of light crude oil from Iran, had been burning since colliding with the CF Crystal, a Hong Kong-registered bulk freighter, on January 6. A Tehran official said there was no hope of saving some 30 missing crewmen before the ship sank, amid concern over an oil spill as Chinese officials played down fears of a major environmental disaster.
“Despite the efforts, it has not been possible to extinguish the fire and recover the bodies due to repeated explosions and gas leaks,” said Mohammad Rastad, spokesman for the Iranian rescue team. The Sanchi, which had been headed to South Korea to deliver its cargo, had a crew of 32 — 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis. Only three bodies have been recovered.
A reporter with China’s state television CCTV aboard a plane from the State Oceanic Administration reported seeing wreckage from the Sanchi, oil on fire, and spilt fuel covering a 10-square-kilometre (3.9-square-mile) area.
“The oil spill situation is very serious,” CCTV quoted the reporter as saying on social media.
Image for illustration purposes. Image from Pixabay.