Huge oil tanker at risk of exploding after collision; 1 body found

Tanker and ship collision near Shanghai leaves 32 missing

Tanker and ship collision near Shanghai leaves 32 missing

"The environment and the conditions on the ground are not very favorable for search-and-rescue work and some crew members are still missing, Lu said".

The number of gallons on board is also almost four times the amount of oil spilled by the Exxon Valdez when it ran aground in Alaska in 1989.

It is not immediately clear what caused the collision, which happened in open seas rather than in a narrow channel where such accidents are more common.

The accident threw up the risk of a risky oil spill in East China Sea and raised serious questions about navigation safety both in terms of accidents and difficulties involved in rescue operations.

Some 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis who were working on the oil tanker are missing. South Korea also sent a ship and helicopter to aid the rescue and clean up efforts.

With a length of 900 feet (274 meters) and displacing more than 85,000 tons, the SANCHI is nearly as big as the US Navy's Nimitz-class aircraft carriers, according to the ship-tracking site marinetraffic.com.

An Iranian oil tanker that caught fire after colliding with a freighter off China's east coast was still on fire early on January 9 and at risk of exploding, the Chinese government said.

The CF Crystal had been damaged but "without jeopardizing the safety of the ship" and all of its 21 Chinese crew had been rescued, according to China's transport ministry. The body recovered on Monday was believed to be that of one of the missing crew members.

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The vessel's cargo is worth around US$60 million at current crude oil prices.

The Sanchi has operated under five different names since it was built in 2008, according the United Nations -run International Maritime Organization. "We can not say all of them have died, because rescue teams are there and providing services".

The IMO listed its registered owner as Hong Kong-based Bright Shipping, on behalf of the National Iranian Tanker Company, a publicly traded firm based in Tehran.

Mohammad Rastad, head of Iran's Ports and Maritime Organization, told the ISNA news agency that the body of the dead crew member was sent to Shanghai for identification.

South Korean petrochemical company Hanwha Total Co., a 50-50 partnership between the Seoul-based Hanwha Group and French oil giant Total, said in an email to the AP it had contracted the Sanchi to import Iranian condensate to South Korea.

Total did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Panama-flagged Sanchi is owned by state-run National Iranian Tanker Co. and departed Assaluyeh port on December 16 for Daesan, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. There was a collision in the Singapore Strait involving a supertanker operated by the National Iranian Tanker Co (NITC) in August 2016, but there was no loss of life or pollution in that incident.

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