China Says 32 People, Mostly Iranians, Missing After Oil Tanker Collision

China Says 32 People, Mostly Iranians, Missing After Oil Tanker Collision

China Says 32 People, Mostly Iranians, Missing After Oil Tanker Collision

The 32 crew members of the Iranian oil tanker which caught fire following the collision are missing.

Some 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis who were working on the oil tanker are missing. A Korean Coast Guard official confirmed the tanker was still on fire at 1 p.m. (0500 GMT).

The Sanchi tanker, registered in Panama, collided with the CF Crystal about 160 nautical miles off the coast near Shanghai on Saturday, the Ministry of Transportation said in statement.

"Sanchi is floating and burning as of now", the ministry said. He declined to be identified as he was not authorised to speak to the media.

The 274-meter-long tanker was still ablaze on Sunday and images on Chinese television showed huge clouds of smoke rising from the stricken vessel.

The tanker, managed by the National Iranian Tanker Company, was insured by internationally credited insurers, according to Iran's oil ministry. Its registered owner is Bright Shipping Ltd.

The official said the tanker was owned by the National Iranian Tanker Co. and had been rented by a South Korean company, Hanwha Total Co.

According to China's Ministry of Transport the tanker, named Sanchi, hit the Chinese ship, CF Crystal, at around 8pm last night.

This is the first major accident involving an Iranian oil tanker since worldwide sanctions were lifted in January 2016. All 21 Chinese crew members on the bulk freighter have been rescued. Total did not immediately respond to a request for comment. It was due to arrive on January 10, according to Reuters ship tracking data. In August 2016, one of its tankers collided with a Swiss container ship in the Singapore Strait, damaging both ships but causing no injuries or oil spill.

Related news