Crisis meeting in Iran to discuss missing Iranians in east China coast: Source

IRNA – A crisis committee meeting is now underway here to discuss the situation of 30 Iranians missing after the country’s tanker collided with a Chinese vessel in east China coast, an informed source announced on Sunday.

‘The news that all Iranians have been killed after collision is not true,’ the source told the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).

Thirty-two crew members, including 30 Iranians and two Bengalese, have gone missing after two vessels collided off China’s east coast on Saturday evening, China’s Ministry of Transport said Sunday according to the country’s news agency ‘Xinhua’.

The 32 missing crew members were all from the oil tanker. All the 21 crew members on the bulk freighter, all Chinese nationals, have been rescued, according to the ministry.

The outcome of the today crisis meeting attended by officials of the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) will be released soon, the source said, adding the fate of the missing is not clear yet and the rescue operation still continues.

In related development, Iran’s Consul General in Shanghai Alireza Irvash told IRNA on Sunday morning that a crisis committee has been formed in China’s Shanghai to rescue the missing Iranians.

About the news why all the rescued are the Chinese nationals but those who have been killed or gone missing were Iranian and Bangladeshi, Irvash said the crew members of the Chinese ship had thrown themselves out of the vessel and been rescued by the ships around the scene.

Irvash hoped the rescue operation which has started since early Sunday would be fruitful.

Director of Iran’s Petroleum Ministry’s Public Relations Office Kasra Nouri has already said the tanker was carrying condensate which belonged to National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC).

Iranian tanker and its cargo, sailing to South Korea, were both insured by a reputable foreign insurance company, Nouri said.

The Iranian tanker, he added, was leased by South Korea’s Hanwha TOTAL Co.