Iranian oil tanker sinks off China coast

  • 15/01/2018

A burning Iranian oil tanker that had drifted into Japan's exclusive economic zone has sunk after a collision on January 6, Chinese state television reports.

The stricken tanker, called the Sanchi, which had been adrift and on fire for more than a week following the accident with another vessel in the East China Sea, had "suddenly ignited" around noon local time on Sunday, China Central Television said.

"There is no hope of finding survivors among the (missing) 29 members of the crew," a report quoted Mahmoud Rastad, the chief of Iran's maritime agency, as saying.

The cause of the collision remains unclear. Three bodies have been recovered from the sea, leaving 29 crew members still unaccounted for. The crew was all Iranian except for two Bangladeshis.

The Chinese freighter CF Crystal, which collided with the Panamanian-registered tanker, had 21 crew members, all of whom were reported safe.