Saturday, 23 June, 2018

Crew Members Still Missing After Oil Tanker Collision

Smoke is seen from Panama-registered Sanchi tanker carrying Iranian oil that caught ablaze after it collided with a Chinese freight ship in the East China Sea. China's Ministry of Transport  via REUTERS Iranian oil tanker in East China Sea could burn for a month, South Korean official says
Kenny Thornton | 12 January, 2018, 22:05

Rabiei as the head of the committee to follow-up the case of the tanker accident off Chinese coast.

An Iranian oil tanker, which collided with another vessel in the East China Sea, is covered by reinsurance provided by the International Group of Protection & Indemnity Clubs, a source at an IG member P&I Club said.

Officials have not yet established the cause of the collision, which happened off the coast of China, near Shanghai.

The tanker had been carrying 136,000 tonnes of condensate - an ultra-light form of crude oil - to South Korea when it collided with the CF Crystal freighter, which is registered in Hong Kong.

By comparison, the Exxon Valdez was carrying 1.26 million barrels of crude oil when it spilled 260,000 barrels into Prince William Sound off Alaska in 1989, badly damaging local ecology and the area's fishing-based economy.

Cleanup and rescue ships have faced toxic fumes, rain and windy conditions as they scrambled to find survivors and avoid a massive oil slick since Saturday's incident.

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The Chinese transport ministry's announcement came after Iran's oil ministry news service Shana reported Monday that "it is unlikely that it [the tanker] will sink", though it mentioned that the tanker was still burning and was considered to be "at risk of exploding".

A Hanwha Total spokesman, who asked not to be named citing office policies, said there is "little possibility" that condensate would leave traces in the ocean after it burned. The Sanchi's cargo was estimated to be worth more than $60 million.

The Sanchi has operated under five different names since it was built in 2008, according the United Nations -run International Maritime Organization. That official also confirmed that the oil tanker is owned by the National Iranian Tanker Co. The National Iranian Tanker Co. describes itself as operating the largest tanker fleet in the Middle East.

So far, the body of only one of the 32 members of the crew of the Iranian oil tanker Sanchi, flagged in Panama, has been recovered. "We can not say all of them have died, because rescue teams are there and providing services".

One body, suspected to be from the tanker crew, was retrieved from the water this week.

Iranian officials earlier in the day held out hope that some members of the crew were still alive, as some of the submerged sections of the Sanchi tanker could be cool enough to stay alive.

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