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'No hope' for sailors aboard burning oil tanker, Iran official says

14 January 2018, 02:42 | Devin Moran

Iranian oil tanker sinks one week after collision - reports

Chinese rescuers find two bodies on burning oil tanker

The National Iranian Tanker Co. describes itself as operating the largest tanker fleet in the Middle East.

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.

An Iranian oil tanker, which had caught fire after it collided with a Chinese freight ship carrying grain on January 7, sank on Sunday, several media reports said quoting the Chinese state television.

All 32 crew members aboard the vessel presumably died within the first hour of the incident, spokesman for Iran's rescue team Mohammed Rastad said.

The cause of the collision is not clear.




It is unknown how much of the cargo, and fuel from the ship, has poured into the sea.

The Sanchi, carrying 136,000 tons of light crude oil from Iran, has been in flames since colliding with the CF Crystal, a Hong Kong-registered bulk freighter, some 300 kilometers east of Shanghai.

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

Observations of passing vessels also indicate that the severity of the initial blast was so high that no sailor has survived.

This is the latest of dozens of shipping accidents in the region, with the area dubbed "the new Bermuda Triangle", because of the number of ships that founder there.



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