Oil tanker burning in the East China Sea sinks

Ablaze The Sanchi off the coast of China. It sank yesterday

Ablaze The Sanchi off the coast of China. It sank yesterday

Speaking on Sunday morning in a taskforce meeting of Chinese Crisis Committee held in the presence of Ali Rabiei President's Special Aide to Follow up Sanchi Oil Tanker Case, he said, "from the first hours of the blast, our rescue and relief teams started searching seafarers believed to be encompassed in the engine house of the tanker".

"There is no hope of finding survivors among the [missing] 29 members of the crew", Iran's maritime agency chief Mahmoud Rastad said on state television.
But Chinese officials played down fears of a major environmental disaster. CGTN also said the ship's voice data recorder, which functions like "black boxes" on aircraft, had been recovered.

The cause of the collision is not clear. Previously, rescuers had found the bodies of two sailors from the Iranian tanker SANCHI.

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The crew was all Iranian expect for two Bangladeshis.

However, all 21 crew members on board the Chinese freighter CF Crystal were safe despite the collision.

Television footage Saturday showed parts of the Sanchi still aflame, its hull and superstructure completely stripped of paint.

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The tanker, owned by National Iranian Tanker Co, was carrying nearly 1 million barrels of condensate, an ultra-light crude oil, to South Korea.

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

The tanker has operated under five different names since it was built in 2008, according to the United Nations -run International Maritime Organization.

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A rescue ship works to extinguish the fire on the stricken Iranian oil tanker Sanchi in the East China Sea, on January 10, 2018 in this photo provided by Japan's 10th Regional Coast Guard.

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