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Crew missing after Iranian tanker hits freighter

Crew missing after Iranian tanker hits freighter

The Chinese Transport Ministry says 32 people, majority Iranians, are missing from an oil tanker that collided with a cargo ship off the east coast of China.

The tanker, managed by the National Iranian Tanker Company, was insured by internationally credited insurers, according to Iran's oil ministry.

The Sanchi tanker run by Iran's top oil shipping operator, collided with the CF Crystal about 160 nautical miles off China's coast near Shanghai and the mouth of the Yangtze River Delta on Saturday evening.

"There is a wide perimeter of flames around the vessel because of the spillage and search and rescue efforts are being carried out with difficulty", Iran's Rastad said.

There were 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis on the tanker, but all were missing as of Sunday, Chinese authorities said.

He further said that the tanker was leased by a South Korean company. The size of the oil slick caused by the accident also was not known. That is equivalent to just under one million barrels, worth about $76 million, based on global crude oil prices.

Chinese maritime authorities have sent eight ships for the search and rescue operation and South Korea has sent a plane and a 3,000-tonne coastguard ship to help.

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. A Korean Coast Guard official confirmed the fire was still raging at 1 pm local time. The ministry said oil spilled into the sea, but did not specify the area of contamination.

The Iranian tanker, Sanchi, is ablaze and leaking oil after colliding with the Hong Kong-registered vessel CF Crystal.


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