China: Body found, tanker still on fire after sea collision

12 January, 2018, 19:11 | Author: Regina Silva
  • Ministry of Transport firefighting boats work to put on a blaze on the oil tanker Sanchi in the East China Sea off the eastern coast of China. Rescue ships looking for missing crew members from

Since then, the Panama-registered tanker Sanchi has been ablaze and drifting in the waters between Shanghai and southern Japan. All 21 crew members aboard the Chinese ship were rescued.

Haghshenas said two fire emergency consultants from the Netherlands and Germany had also been hired "who are now at the scene giving advice to the Chinese".

Iran's army will dispatch on Friday afternoon (January 12) a rescue team consisting of 12 professionals to China with the intention of helping the rescue mission of Iranian sailors.

The week-long rescue effort following the tanker's collision with a freight ship on Saturday night has been roiled by poor weather, including 3-metre (10 feet) high waves and strong winds, and toxic fumes from the burning oil.

"The plus is that it will sit at the surface as it spills initially, and a fair proportion will evaporate off", he said. "This produces a very toxic plume of water which, unlike most crudes, won't decay through microbial action in the same way".

"If the crew had a chance to run to the bottom of the ship, they might be still alive", he said.

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One portion appeared to show the fire had been extinguished, although this could not be independently confirmed.

After meeting with a special investigatory committee formed by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, its spokesman, Mohammad Rastad, said that poisonous gas, Wednesday's explosion and oil pollution were complicating the response.

Rashid Kang, a campaigner at Greenpeace East Asia, said in a statement that the organization is "worried about the potential environmental impact" of the collision.

The Shanghai Maritime Bureau's navigation department said the collision did not affect traffic in and out of Shanghai, one of the world's busiest and biggest ports, or ports along the Yangtze river. In March 1989, the Exxon Valdez oil tanker ran aground in Alaska's Prince William Sound, spilling 10.8 million gallons of crude oil, devastating herring and salmon runs and causing one of the worst environmental disasters in US history.

Trying to contain a spill of condensate, which is extremely low in density, highly toxic and much more explosive than normal crude oil, may be hard. Five of 32 crew members died, and the incident caused an 80-square-mile oil slick.

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