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.