Iran sends labor ministry to investigate Sanchi case

SHANA – Iranian Minister of Labor Ali Rabiei, tasked by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to head a committee investigating the stricken Iranian oil tanker in China Sea, left Tehran for China on Friday night.

Upon his arrival in Shanghai, Mr. Rabiei called on Chinese rescue and firefighting teams to exert all their efforts in the case of oil tanker Sanchi which is still burning after almost a week after it collided with a Chinese balk freighter.

“We demand the Chinese teams to maximize their efforts to save the crew members of the Iranian tanker and be more serious in their relief and rescue efforts,” he said.

“What concerns us the most is that the teams stop firefighting efforts as the sun sets. We have to continue our efforts when there is still a modicum of hope to find the remaining crew members alive.”

“I understand how difficult it is to carry out such operations but the Iranian people expect the teams to exert all their efforts.”

Recollections of the Iranian people of the incident will be historic and remain in their minds forever, so “we demand that they (the Chinese teams) do whatever they can in this regard.”

The stricken Iranian oil tanker has now drifted into Japan’s economic zone and continuous explosions hamper rescue efforts.

The ship has been ablaze for almost a week since it collided with another vessel on Saturday night in the East China Sea, was about 286 km (178 miles) northwest of Sokkozaki on the island of Amami Oshima.

The tanker Sanchi, owned by NITC, Iran’s top oil shipping operator, was carrying 970,000 barrels of condensate, an ultra-light, highly flammable crude oil, to South Korea.