Iranian Oil Tanker sinking in East China Sea, crew feared dead

A rescue ship works to extinguish the fire on the burning Iranian oil tanker Sanchi in the East China Sea on Friday

An Iranian oil tanker, which had caught fire after it collided with a Chinese freight ship carrying grain on January 7, sank on Sunday, several media reports said quoting the Chinese state television.

Meanwhile, Iranian commando forces who have been stationed at Port of Shanghai since Thursday, have received the go-ahead to board the ablaze vessel in search of survivors. Previously, rescuers had found the bodies of two sailors from the Iranian tanker SANCHI.

Three of the bodies of the more than 30 crew aboard have been recovered.

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

CHINA-SHIPPING  ACCIDENT-JAPAN

Thirteen ships, including one from South Korea and two from Japan, had been deployed in the rescue and cleanup effort, Intense flames, which was hampered by bad weather and poor visibility have all hampered rescue efforts.

The Sanchi, owned by National Iranian Tanker Co, was carrying nearly 1 million barrels of condensate, an ultra-light crude oil, to South Korea.

The Iranian oil tanker sank around midday Sunday after the spread of fire to new oil condensate tanks created blazes as high as 100 meters and increased temperature to 350 degrees Celsius (660 degrees Fahrenheit).

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