14 January 2018, Sweetcrude, Lagos — An Iranian oil tanker carrying almost 1 million barrels of condensate, an ultra-light crude oil, to South Korea has sunk after burning for more than a week.
The oil tanker owned by National Iranian Tanker Co, caught fire after colliding with the CF Crystal (IMO:9497050) carrying grain from the United States, about 160 nautical miles (184 km) off China’s coast near Shanghai on Jan. 6 in the East China Sea, Chinese state.
According to Reuters, although the tanker had sunk, large amounts of oil are still burning in the surrounding waters due to detonation at the hull of the ship.
The stricken tanker, called the Sanchi (IMO:9356608), which had been adrift and on fire following the accident with the freighter CF Crystal, had “suddenly ignited” around noon (0400 GMT), China Central Television (CCTV) said.
“Currently it has already sunk,” CCTV said, citing the Shanghai maritime search and rescue center.
According to CCTV, the ship sank before 5 p.m. (0900 GMT).
China’s State Oceanic Administration said it would expand the scope of its monitoring and “quickly ascertain the spread and drift of overflowing oil” from the wrecked ship.
A Chinese salvage team had on Saturday, recovered two bodies from the tanker.
Another body, presumed to be one of the Sanchi’s sailors, was found on Monday and brought to Shanghai for identification.
The Sanchi’s crew consisted of 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis.
Reuters also reported that Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi had told his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif by telephone that “as long as there is 1 percent of hope, China will continue to make 100 percent effort” to rescue and recover other members of the crew.