All sailors aboard Iranian burning oil tanker announced dead

15 January, 2018, 00:31 | Author: Katrina Soto
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An Iranian report said another explosion occurred Sunday morning in the oil tanker, while a team of Iranian special forces arrived at the scene in a Chinese fireboat.

An oil tanker burning in the East China Sea has exploded and sunk a week after it collided with another vessel, leaving no survivors on board. "They burned to ashes while their families were wailing here!" cried out one woman who didn't give her name.

Earlier in the day, an Iranian official had said it was likely that all crew had died, ChannelNewsAsia reported.

It remains unclear if there has been a significant oil leak into the sea.

The Sanchi was carrying 136,000 tons of condensate, worth some $60 million, and bound for the Republic of Korea.

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The Sanchi's crew consisted of 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis.

According to Iran's Consul General in Shanghai Alireza Irvash, the operation to put out the fire of the Iranian tanker began on Wednesday while flames of fire subsided despite bad weather in the region. The ship then sank into the sea.

Three bodies were able to be recovered throughout the week, but hours before the sinking, Iran announced that all on board were presumed dead due to the initial blast on collision and the ensuing release of toxic gas.

The Chinese say the ship left a 10-square-kilometre (3.8-square-mile) area contaminated with oil.

Chinese rescuers recovered the black box of the boat and the device is now in the hands of specialists to analyze it and look for clues about what happened on the ship after the crash, said the CGTN television station. The National Iranian Tanker Co. describes itself as operating the largest tanker fleet in the Middle East. In August 2016, one of its tankers collided with a Swiss container ship in the Singapore Strait, damaging both ships but causing no injuries or oil spill.

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