Iranian tanker collides with cargo ship in China Sea, crew feared dead
It is being reported that an Iranian oil tanker travelling from Iran to South Korea has collided with a cargo ship at sea, subsequently bursting into flames and spilling millions of gallons of oil into the water.
The tanker, a Panamanian-flagged 274-metre (899-foot) Sanchi was carrying 136,000 tonnes of oil condensate when it collided with the cargo ship, and according to the China transport ministry, the 32 crew members of the tanker are unaccounted for.
China and South Korea have both joined forces to help look for the missing tanker crew.
China have sent eight search and rescue ships to comb the area where the ships collided, and South Korea have sent a plane, as well as a ship to help with the search.
“Our ship and plane have arrived at the site and are working closely with Chinese maritime authorities,” a South Korean coastguard official said.
“We have no information on their fate,” stated an official in Iran’s Oil Ministry, speaking to the Associated Press. “We cannot say all of them have died, because rescue teams are there and providing services.”
The tanker collided with the other ship about 160 nautical miles east of Shanghai on Saturday night and is still burning.
According to the China transport ministry, the other ship was a Hong Kong-flagged cargo ship, carrying more than 64,000 tonnes of grain.
The ministry added that all 21 crew members of the other ship have been rescued.
Officials are currently trying to figure out what could have caused the two massive ships to collide but have not been able to pinpoint a cause as of yet.
The Sanchi oil tanker has operated under five different names since 2008 when it was built.
The registered owner of the tanker is listed as Hong Kong-based Bright Shipping Ltd.