Iranian Tanker Sinks, All Crew Presumed Dead

Sunday, January 14, 2018 - 13:50

Iranian oil tanker Sanchi, which caught fire last Saturday night after it collided with the CF Crystal, a Hong Kong-registered bulk freighter carrying wheat from the US, about 160 nautical miles east of the Yangtze estuary, has been sealed.

According to an ISCA report, the Sanchi, carrying 136,000 tons of light crude oil from Iran, has been in flames since colliding with the CF Crystal, a Hong Kong-registered bulk freighter, 160 nautical miles east of Shanghai last Saturday.

The tanker had a crew of 32 to 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis. It had been burning ever since despite international rescue efforts. Those efforts were hampered because of the scale of the fire and heat.

Mohammad Rastad, a spokesman for the Special Task Force established over the incident, said on Saturday that there was no hope to find the crew members alive.

Rastad said available evidence, including remarks by the crew members from the CF Crystal and latest updates from rescue workers and the commander-in-chief of the Chinese rescue mission, showed that the crew had died early after the collision because of the massive blast and the release of toxic gas.

Rastad said efforts by rescuers to embark on the ship and retrieve the bodies of the mariners failed because of back-to-back explosions on the tanker.

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