China Says 32 People, Mostly Iranians, Missing After Oil Tanker Collision

Pauline Gross
January 8, 2018

A tanker has collided with a bulk carrier in the East China Sea, leaving 32, the entire tanker crew, missing.

The tanker, managed by the National Iranian Tanker Company, was insured by internationally credited insurers, according to Iran's oil ministry. The Crystal's crew members were all Chinese nationals.

"There is a wide perimeter of flames around the vessel because of the spillage and search and rescue efforts are being carried out with difficulty", Iran's Rastad said.

South Korea also dispatched a ship and helicopter to help. "There is an oil slick and we are pushing forward with rescue efforts".

The tanker's 32 crew members including 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshi sailors were missing in the incident.

Chinese state media CCTV showed pictures on Sunday of the tanker ablaze and billowing plumes of thick dark smoke.

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By comparison, the Exxon Valdez was carrying 1.26 million barrels of crude oil when it spilled 260,000 barrels into Prince William Sound off Alaska in 1989.

The Iranian tanker, Sanchi, is ablaze and leaking oil after colliding with the Hong Kong-registered vessel CF Crystal.

This is the first major accident involving an Iranian oil tanker since worldwide sanctions were lifted in January 2016. "We can not say all of them have died, because rescue teams are there and providing services".

The impact sparked a ferocious blaze and caused the tanker to spew cargo into the East China Sea, Chinese officials said.

The 274-meter-long oil tanker SANCHI, owned by an Iranian shipping company, was heading to South Korea with its cargo. Total did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Other reports by GizPress

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