China expands searching area near wreckage of Iranian oil tanker

 IRNA – 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.

The Panama-registered tanker Sanchi was sailing from Iran to South Korea when it slammed into the Hong Kong-registered CF Crystal about 257 kilometers off the coast of Shanghai on Saturday (Jan 6).

The Crystal’s 21 crew members, all Chinese nationals, were rescued after the collision. The ship was carrying grain from the United States to China.

The collision caused the tanker, carrying 136,000 tons of oil derivatives, to burst into flames.

Ever since, 31 crew members on board the tanker have gone missing. The body of one of the crew has been found on Chinese coast.

Thirty of the crew members are Iranian and two others are Bangladeshi.