Oil tanker burning off China's coast at risk of exploding

Oil tanker burning off China's coast at risk of exploding

Cheryl Sanders
January 12, 2018

Although the full damage of the explosion remains unclear, the incident is just the latest setback for the multi-national rescue operation involving Chinese, South Korean, and American authorities working to locate the 31 missing crew members.

Rabiei as the head of the committee to follow-up the case of the tanker accident off Chinese coast.

Explosions rocked a stricken Iranian oil tanker in the East China Sea on Wednesday, forcing maritime authorities to suspend firefighting and rescue efforts as a blaze raged on the vessel for the fourth day after a collision with a freight ship, Fox News reported.

The Sanchi was carrying 136,000 metric tons (150,000 tons, or almost 1 million barrels) of condensate, a type of ultra-light oil, according to Chinese authorities.

The Sanchi was sailing from Iran to South Korea when the collision occurred 257 kilometers (160 miles) off the coast of Shanghai, China's Ministry of Transport said.

An oil slick has spread out from the Iranian tanker at a radius of at least a half-mile.

The Panama-registered oil tanker was carrying 136,000 tons of crude oil when it collided with a Hong Kong-registered bulk freighter.

It was equivalent to about 1 million barrels and worth about $US60 million.

The Sanchi's own fuel that leaked during the collision will be more hard to clean, officials said.

Al Jazeera's Adrian Brown reports from Eastern China.

A Hanwha Total spokesman, who asked not to be named citing office policies, said there is "little possibility" that condensate would leave traces in the ocean after it burned.

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

A total of 32 crew members, including 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis, were on board the oil tanker at the time of the collision.

"We have no information on their fate", he said Sunday.

One body, suspected to be from the tanker crew, was retrieved from the water this week.

Chinese media has shared footage of oil tanker Sanchi puffing black clouds of smoke as rescue boats try to douse the flames.

Prior to the P&I cover recovering to near full-coverage of around $7.8 billion on February 20, it was limited to $830 million per tanker for Iranian oil shipping since April 2016, following the lifting of U.S. and European Union nuclear sanctions against Iran in January 2016.

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