01/15/2018, 09.06
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Iranian tanker explodes and sinks. No hope of finding survivors

The tanker was on fire and with smoke columns reaching up to 3 km in height. Large oil patch of about 10 km2 formed after it sinks and burned all night.

Shanghai (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Iranian Sanchi oil tanker, which has been burning for over a week, exploded and then sank yesterday at 12 (local time). Mohammad Rastad, a spokesman for the Iranian rescue team sent to Shanghai, said that "there is no hope of finding survivors among the crew members.

The Sanchi oil tanker collided with a Chinese freighter on January 6, 260 km south-east of Shanghai. The tanker had 32 sailors - 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshi - now all dead. According to the authorities the crew would have died in the first hour after the collision, due to the fire and the fumes. After a search operation lasting a week, only three bodies have been found.

After the collision, the Sanchi was dragged by the winds for more than 2 km to the south-east. At the time of the explosion, the ship was in flames with smoke columns reaching up to 3 km in height (photo 2).

The tanker carried 136 thousand tons of ultra-light oil, which evaporates and dissolves in water with ease.

After the explosion and the sinking, a large oil patch of about 10 km2 formed, with the flames lasting all night. The consequences for the environment are not yet known.

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