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Iranian oil tanker sinks one week after collision

15 January, 2018, 00:34 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • Iranian tanker sinks in Japan's EEZ

At around midday Sunday the ship "suddenly ignited", with the entire vessel burning fiercely and a pall of smoke between 800 and 1,000 metres (2,625 and 3,280 feet) high, China's transport ministry said, releasing dramatic pictures of the entire vessel obscured by thick black smoke.

A burning Iranian oil tanker that had drifted into Japan's exclusive economic zone has sunk after a collision on January 6, Chinese state television said on Sunday. "They burned to ashes while their families were wailing here!" cried out one woman who didn't give her name.

It remains unclear if there has been a significant oil leak into the sea.

Dramatic photos of the scene showed tall flames raging on board the ship, which was carrying nearly a million barrels of crude oil.

A body found earlier last week is believed to be another of the 32 crew members, which included 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis.

According to Iran's Consul General in Shanghai Alireza Irvash, the operation to put out the fire of the Iranian tanker began on Wednesday while flames of fire subsided despite bad weather in the region. Three bodies have been recovered from the sea, leaving 29 crew members still unaccounted for. A Chinese salvage team recovered two bodies from the deck of the tanker on Saturday.

But around noon Sunday, Chinese state media reported that a large explosion shook the Sanchi, its hull and superstructure completely stripped of paint by the flames.

The vessel is reported to have left a 10 square kilometre area contaminated with oil in the sea, but authorities say there was no major spill as much of the oil evaporated or burned off in the fire.

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