Global News

Off the coast of China exploded oil tanker

Off the coast of China exploded oil tanker

Chinese media said the tanker was still on fire Tuesday and at risk of exploding.

The collision between the two vessels happened at 1600 on 6 January and caused a fire to engulf Sanchi, which is carrying some 136,000 tonnes of highly volatile condensate ultra-light crude, or the equivalent of about 1M barrels of oil.

The source said that the Sanchi, operated by the National Iranian Tanker Company, as well as the other vessel involved in the collision, CF Crystal, have the IG reinsurance cover of up to United States dollars 7.8 billion each.

Efforts to extinguish a fire and rescue survivors on a stricken oil tanker have been hampered because the vessel keeps exploding.

Ten foot waves and strong winds, along with toxic fumes from the burning oil, have also been hindering the efforts to extinguish the fire.

Worldwide search efforts have involved numerous Chinese vessels, a South Korean coast guard vessel and a fixed-wing aircraft.

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Rescue ships looking for 31 missing crew members from a burning oil tanker have expanded their search area to more than 2,600 square kilometres (1,000 square miles), authorities said.

The changes took place as the IG has created a protection and indemnity reinsurance framework, without having contributions from U.S. insurers, in an effort to bring back its coverage to a near pre-sanction level for the first time since impositions of worldwide sanctions against Iran in mid-2012, according to sources familiar with the matter. The rest of the crew, which included 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis, remains missing. The CF Crystal suffered limited damage and the 21 crew members, all Chinese nationals, were rescued. "The cargo is still on fire, so it is hard to figure out if oil is being spilled".

China's transport ministry warned that toxic gas from the tanker was harmful to the rescue workers and that protective clothing and gas testing equipment was being dispatched to the emergency teams.

China's transport ministry said the CF Crystal were being taken to the port of Luhuashan, just south of Shanghai, where authorities will start an investigation into the cause of the incident.

Poor weather continued to hamper the rescue work, Lu Kang, a spokesman at China's foreign ministry, told a regular news briefing. There was no further word about 31 other sailors missing since in the East China Sea late Saturday. The freighter's 22 crew members were all reported safe. The condensate cargo had been purchased by South Korea's Hanwha Total Petrochemical and it was scheduled for delivery to Daesan over January 8-10.