Iranian oil tanker burns for third day as winds, waves lash rescuers

Iran NITC tanker in East China Sea collision covered by IG P&I reinsurance- IG member

Iran NITC tanker in East China Sea collision covered by IG P&I reinsurance- IG member

The report came after the vessel's owner, the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) said Sanchi was unlikely to sink.

The explosion on the tanker, which was carrying 136 thousand tons of gas condensate, poses a potential threat to the environment.

Sanchi was carrying nearly one million barrels of highly flammable crude oil to South Korea with 32 crew members on board - 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis.

China's Ministry of Transport said Tuesday that the Sanchi was in danger of exploding and sinking, while the CF Crystal sailed off on January 8 to Zhoushan, escorted by a rescue vessel, the Donghai Rescue 118.

Lashing winds, high waves and toxic gases are hindering dozens of rescue boats struggling to locate missing sailors from a stricken oil tanker in the East China Sea and to extinguish a fire that has burned for the past three days on the ship.

The Coast Guard has sent ships and aircraft to monitor the situation. The rescue operations of the 31 crew members of the Iranian oil tanker on the day of the epiphany in the China Sea after a collision with a Hong Kong cargo ship were resumed in impossible conditions.

"We can't grasp the level of oil contamination at this moment".

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Earlier it was reported that the tanker SANCHI belonging to Iranian companies and sailing under the Panamanian flag, collided on 6 January with the Hong Kong bulk carrier CF CRYSTAL off the East coast of China on the evening of 6 January.

An official from South Korea's Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries was quoted in a Reuters report as saying the fire could last for weeks.

Poor weather continued to hamper the rescue work, Lu Kang, a spokesman at China's foreign ministry, told a regular news briefing.

It collided with the freighter CF Crystal (IMO:9497050) that was carrying grain from the United States about 160 nautical miles (184 km) off China's coast near Shanghai.

China's Ministry of Transport and Maritime Safety would not comment when asked if the fire was out.

The Sanchi was carrying almost 1 million barrels of condensate, a type of gassy, ultra-light oil, when it collided Saturday evening with a freighter 257 kilometers (160 miles) off the Chinese coast and caught fire.

During an environmental in December, President Xi Jinping described climate change as an enemy of "picturesque scenery" and called for efforts to "ensure coexistence between man and nature, cherish the environment as we cherish our own lives, respect and protect nature, and safeguard the irreplaceable planet Earth".

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