January 10, The Iran Project – An Iranian oil tanker, which collided with a Chinese cargo vessel while sailing in East China Sea on Saturday (Jan 6), burns on for a four straight day as dire environmental conditions hamper an ongoing search and rescue operation.
Sanchi was carrying 136,000 tons of condensates, a highly flammable crude derivative, when it collided with grain-laden CF Crystal about 160 nautical miles off China’s coast near Shanghai on Sunday.
The body of only one Iranian crew member has been found near the vessel so far, with 31 others still unaccounted for.
According to China’s Ministry of Transport, inclement weather and high waves were getting in the way of the rescue mission, which has enlisted 13 vessels.
Meanwhile, Iran’s consul general in Shanghai Alireza Irvash announced that the Iranian expert teams arrived in China’s Shanghai Port to help the rescue operation.
Besides, the Chinese officials say their teams along with South Korea and United States are performing rescue operation to find the missing Iranian crew.
However, Iran says China is very cautious in dealing with the issue, so it asked Japan to help, Mohsen Bahrami, spokesman for the crisis committee following up the situation of the missing Iranian seamen, said on Tuesday.
President Hassan Rouhani in a meeting on Tuesday with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Petroleum Minister Bijan Zangeneh and Minister of Roads and Urban Development Abbas Akhoundi called for employing all national and regional capacities to determine the fate of the crew.
In a meantime, China Embassy in Tehran announced on Wednesday that 13 rescue vessels are searching an area of 900 square nautical miles round the clock near the wreckage of an Iranian oil tanker, four days after it collided with a Chinese cargo ship off China’s east coast and caught fire.
China Embassy in Tehran announced in a notice that Beijing attaches great importance to this maritime disaster.
The notice added that the China Foreign Ministry is on alert because of the incident.