Blazing tanker sinks with 'no hope' for crew

16 January, 2018, 00:50 | Author: Essie Rivera
  • Tehran Confirms Death of Olympus Tanker Crew in East-Chinese Sea on January 6

The Iranian oil tanker went up in flames after it collided with a Chinese freighter in the East China Sea last week.

Mohammad Rastad, spokesman for an Iranian rescue team, said there was "no hope" for the recovery of any of the bodies.

The Daily Star had quoted the transport ministry in China, as saying that apart from the two Bangladesh crew members, 30 Iranians were declared missing. But salvage workers were prevented from entering a living room on SANCHI's first floor as the inner temperature had reached 89 degrees Celcius.

The blazing vessel, which was carrying 136,000 tonnes - nearly one million barrels - of condensate, an ultra-light, highly flammable crude oil, sank on Sunday evening after several explosions weakened the hull.

Three bodies were recovered from the water over the course of the week, as an worldwide effort to rescue the 30 Iranian and two Bangladeshi crew members and extinguish the flames was underway.

It is still not unclear what had caused the collision.

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Fourteen ships are carrying out emergency response work, including one from Japan and two from South Korea, China's transport ministry said in a statement released late Friday. Determining the impact of a condensate spill in the open ocean is also more hard than for a heavy oil slick near the coast, Zhang added. Thirty-two crew members are believed to have died.

The ship then sank into the sea.

Iran's Shana news agency reported that the Sanchi was managed by the National Iranian Tanker Company and its cargo was worth around $60 million. Some were taken by ambulance to nearby hospitals because they were so overwhelmed by the news.

"[The government] has come after 10 days to sympathise with them? What sympathy are you talking about?" In a message, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei expressed his condolences and sympathy with the victims' families, his own website, Khamenei.ir, reported Sunday.

The government also announced Monday (January 15, 2018) as a nationwide day of public mourning over the disaster.

The Sanchi's light crude would have "less impact on the ocean" than other kinds of oil, and minimal impact on humans given how far offshore the incident occurred, he said.

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