Friday, 22 March, 2019

Iran firm says there may be survivors from tanker crash

01_14_Tanker Iran firm says there may be survivors from tanker crash
Bennie Garza | 14 January, 2018, 08:59

The tanker Sanchi was carrying nearly 1 million barrels of condensate, an ultra-light, highly flammable crude oil, to South Korea.

Experts had warned that a spill of the Panamanian-flagged 274-metre tanker's cargo could spell environmental catastrophe as authorities said the ship could explode or sink.

The front section of an Iranian oil tanker that has been on fire for days off the east China coast has exploded, forcing rescue boats searching for 31 missing sailors to retreat and sparking environmental concerns.

The Chinese Government said late on Tuesday it had not found a "large-scale" oil leak, and the condensate was burning off or evaporating so quickly it would leave little residue - less than 1 per cent - within five hours of a spill.

An Iranian oil tanker that caught fire after colliding with a freighter off China's east coast is at risk of exploding and sinking, Chinese state media reported Monday as authorities from three countries struggled to find its 32 missing crew members and contain oil spewing from the blazing wreck.

He said: "The engine room is not directly affected by the fire and is about 14 meters under water... there is still hope". One body suspected to be from the tanker crew was retrieved from the water this week.

By 5 p.m. (0900 GMT) on Thursday, tanker was still on fire and search area had expanded to more than 1,000 square miles.

It said a Japanese vessel had joined the firefighting efforts and ships were attempting to use foam to extinguish the blaze, but the measures had "not had the anticipated effect".

Of the 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis on the Sanchi's crew, only one body has so far been found and there has been no word from them since the collision.

"There is a good possibility that people are still alive", he added, while indicating that he had no solid information. All 21 crew members aboard the Chinese ship were rescued.

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 He said the tanker was on its way to South Korea.

The oil tanker was on its way to South Korea when it collided with the CF Crystal, which was transporting grain to mainland China. The Iranian tanker and a freighter collided late Saturday.

It's the second collision for a ship from the National Iranian Tanker Co in less than a year and a half.


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