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Oil tanker collides with vessel off China coast, 32 crew members missing

08 January, 2018, 02:04 | Author: Priscilla Morrison

A tanker has collided with a bulk carrier in the East China Sea, leaving 32, the entire tanker crew, missing.

South Korea has also sent a ship and helicopter to help, Reuters reported.

An Iranian oil tanker carrying ultra light crude to South Korea collided with a Chinese cargo vessel and is now burning in the East China Sea waters.

"Sanchi is floating and burning as of now", the ministry said.

Asked about the 30 Iranians, an unnamed official in Iran's Oil Ministry told the AP: "We have no information on their fate". Chinese maritime authorities have dispatched eight vessels, including three specialised cleansing vessels, for search and rescue.

The Chinese vessel, carrying grain from the United States, suffered minor damage "without jeopardising the safety of the ship".

The tanker is now on fire and is spilling its cargo into the sea, authorities have said.

State media CCTV showed pictures of the tanker ablaze and billowing plumes of thick dark smoke.




It was carrying a $60m (£44m) cargo equivalent to slightly under a million barrels.

Iran's oil ministry has confirmed that at least 30 Iranian citizens were missing in oil tanker incident.

CF Crystal's 21 crew members, all Chinese nationals, have been rescued.

The tanker, managed by the National Iranian Tanker Company, was insured by internationally credited insurers, according to Iran's oil ministry.

CF Crystal, which was built in 2011, suffered "non-critical" damage, China's transport ministry said.

Hanwha Total was not immediately available for comment.

The incident marked the first major maritime incident involving an Iranian tanker since the lifting of global sanctions on Iran in January 2016. In August 2016, one of its tankers collided with a Swiss container ship in the Singapore Strait, damaging both ships but causing no injuries or oil spill.

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