Published: Sun, January 14, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Iranian oil tanker sinks after explosion shoots flames up to 1km high

Iranian oil tanker sinks after explosion shoots flames up to 1km high

"There is no hope of finding survivors among the members of the crew", said Mohammad Rastad, spokesman for the Iranian rescue team dispatched to Shanghai, adding that two-thirds of the Iranian tanker was now under water. There were 32 people on board the tanker.

The Panama-registered Iranian oil tanker, Sanchi, with 32 crew members on board, caught on fire after colliding with a Hong Kong cargo ship on January 6, 160 nautical miles (296 km) from China's east coast.

Three of the bodies of the more than 30 crew aboard have been recovered. The tanker was carrying a cargo of almost 1 million barrels of condensate, a type of gassy, ultra-light oil that readily evaporates or burns off in a fire, reducing the chance of a major oil spill. The first body had been found on Monday, which now leaves the number of the remaining crew members at 29.


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

The Iranian oil tanker sank around midday Sunday after the spread of fire to new oil condensate tanks created blazes as high as 100 meters and increased temperature to 350 degrees Celsius (660 degrees Fahrenheit).

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