Deputy FM: No Info on fate of Iranian sailors missing in east China coast

FNA- Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Consular, Parliamentary and Expatriates Affairs Hassan Qashqavi announced that his country has received no report on the fate of the Iranian sailors who have gone missing after two vessels collided off China’s East Coast.

“Most of the crew were Iranians and as no one can approach the ship from a one-kilometer distance (because of the big fire that started after the collusion), acquiring any information about the situation of the passengers and crew is difficult, and the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) can provide more technical details in this regard,” Qashqavi told FNA on Sunday.

He said that the Chinese authorities have not been able to extinguish the fire so far, using the local possibilities, and added that a bigger firefighting vessel has been sent to the scene of the accident.

Qashqavi underlined that the Iranian foreign ministry is in contact with the Chinese officials to clear the fate of the country’s nationals missing in the East China Coast.

Several crew members, including 30 Iranians and two Bengalese, have gone missing after two vessels collided off China’s East Coast, Chinese Ministry of Transport announced on Sunday.

The collision, between a Panama-registered oil tanker and a Hong Kong-registered bulk freighter, occurred in waters about 160 sea miles east of the Yangtze River’s estuary Saturday night, the ministry said.

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.

Chinese maritime authorities have dispatched eight vessels for search and rescue. After the coordination of China Maritime Search and Rescue Center, the Republic of Korea has dispatched a coastguard ship and a fixed-wing aircraft to assist in the search and rescue.

Meantime, Iranian Oil Ministry Spokesperson announced that the affected oil tanker belonged to the NITC and it was carrying condensates for a South Korean company.

Most of the crew of the oil tanker were Iranians and the oil tanker had been insured by a reputable foreign company.