The ship has been ablaze for nearly a week since it collided with another vessel on January 6 in the East China Sea and has been drifting into Japanese economic zone over the past several days.
A burning Iranian oil tanker that had drifted into Japan's exclusive economic zone after a collision on Jan 6 has finally sunk, Chinese state television said on Sunday (Jan 14).
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani in a telephone conversation with Iran's Minister of Cooperative, Labor and Social Welfare Ali Rabiei called for mobilization of all facilities to help rescue oil tanker crew members at the earliest, IRNA reported.
The vessel, which "suddenly ignited" at midday (4am United Kingdom time) on January 6, is in danger of capsizing "at any time", according to Chinese state television.
A Chinese salvage team on Saturday recovered two bodies from the tanker.
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The crew consisted of 30 Iranian and two Bangladeshi sailors.
The Panama-registered tanker was carrying 136,000 tons of condensate, an ultra-light crude that is highly flammable, to South Korea.
It is unknown how much of the cargo, and fuel from the ship, has poured into the sea.
He said that due to repeated explosions and gas leaks, rescue teams were unable to extinguish the fire on the vessel and recover the bodies.
This is the latest of dozens of shipping accidents in the region, with the area dubbed "the new Bermuda Triangle", because of the number of ships that founder there.