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Iranian tanker sinks engulfed in flames, official says no hope of survivors

Iranian tanker sinks engulfed in flames, official says no hope of survivors

Transport Ministry of China / AFP / –
This handout picture from the Transport Ministry of China shows smoke and flames coming from burning oil tanker Sanchi before it sank
Iranian oil tanker burst into flames from end to end sank Sunday, eight days after a collision with a cargo ship off China, state media said. A Tehran official said even before the news that there was no hope of saving some 30 missing crewmen. Purpose Chinese officials played down fears of a major environmental disaster.
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, on January 6. Around midday Sunday the ship “suddenly ignited”, with the entire vessel burning fiercely and a pall of smoke around 800-1,000 meters high, China’s transport ministry said, releasing dramatic pictures showing the entire vessel obscured by thick black smoke. Xinhua cited the State Oceanic Administration as saying. “Mohammad Rastad, spokesman for the Iranian rescue team dispatched to Shanghai, told Iran’s state broadcaster in Tehran before the tanker went down. Rastad said information from members of the Crystal Crew suggested all the staff on the Sanchi were killed in the first hour of the accident “due to the explosion and the release of gas”. “Despite our efforts, it has not been possible to extinguish the fire and recover the bodies from repeated explosions and gas leaks,” he said. The Sanchi, which was headed to South Korea to deliver its cargo, had a crew of 32 – 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis. Only three bodies have been recovered. Chinese rescuers Saturday also recovered the tanker ‘s “black box”, the transport ministry said without specifying exactly what had been retrieved. To report with China’s state television CCTV aboard a plane from the State Oceanic Administration reported sighting of the Sanchi and oil on fire, and spilling fuel covering a 10 square kilometer area. “The oil spill situation is very serious,” CCTV quoted the reporter as saying on social media. Zhang Yong, a senior engineer with the State Oceanic Administration, has played down fears of a spill. “Because this is a light oil spill, it is much more volatile than other oil spills, because this kind of oil is especially volatile, so it’s had less impact on the ocean. ., “Zhang was quoted as saying. “This area should be considered, where people live, so the human impact should be minimal.”

Transport Ministry of China / AFP / –
This handout picture from the Transport Ministry of China shows smoke and flames coming from the Sanchi before it went down
Rescue efforts had been particularly difficult because at 89 degrees Celsius, the CCTV quoted He Wang, an expert from Chinese oil company Huade Petrochemical, as saying.

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