An Iranian oil tanker has sunk after burning for more than a week following a collision on Jan. 6 in the East China Sea, Chinese state media said on Sunday.
“There is no hope of finding survivors among the members of the crew,” Mohammad Rastad, a spokesman for the Iranian rescue team stated.
“Despite our efforts, it has not been possible to extinguish the fire and recover the bodies due to repeated explosions and gas leaks,” he said.
An Iranian report said another explosion occurred Sunday morning in the oil tanker, while a team of Iranian special forces arrived at the scene in a Chinese fireboat.
Rastad added that information suggested all personnel on the Sanchi had been killed in the first hour of the accident “due to the explosion and the release of gas”.
The stricken tanker, called the Sanchi had a crew of 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis on board.
The tanker, owned by National Iranian Tanker Co, was sailing from Iran to South Korea, carrying 136,000 tonnes of condensate, an ultra-light and highly volatile crude. That is equivalent to just under 1 million barrels, worth about $60 million, based on global crude oil prices.
Chinese officials said they had not yet been able to determine the cause behind the accident.