Burning Panama-registered oil tanker Sanchi sank after another partial explosion on Sunday noon, over a week after it collided with a cargo ship off the coast of Shanghai.
Sanchi was carrying 136,000 tonnes of condensate from Iran when it collided with the CF Crystal, a Hong Kong-registered bulk freighter, about 160 nautical miles east of the Yangtze River estuary in Shanghai on Jan. 6. The oil tanker was en route to South Korea.
The ship has been ablaze ever since, and bad weather conditions have hampered the rescue and salvage work.
The bodies of only three of the 32 crew members – 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis – were found.
Chinese experts have warned that the condensate aboard Sanchi could threaten the maritime environment as it may contain high levels of sulfide.
The cause of the accident remains unknown. The ship’s Voyage Data Recorder (VDR), similar in function to airplanes’ “black box”, has been retrieved for analysis.
Top Image: Smoke is seen from the Panama-registered Sanchi tanker carrying Iranian oil in the East China Sea, January 9 (Photo: Reuters)