Tanker and ship collision near Shanghai leaves 32 missing

Jan 08, 2018, 02:00

The 32 missing crew members were all from the Iranian tanker Sanchi, carrying 136,000 tonnes of oil the time of the crash.

Dramatic pictures show plumes of black smoke rising from the scene as the ship is engulfed by a huge fire.

The Hong Kong-registered cargo ship, CF Crystal, was carrying 64,000 tonnes of grain from the U.S. to Guangdong, a southern province of China. The 225-meter-long second vessel CF CRYSTAL, carrying 64,000 tonnes of grain, was partly damaged in the collision.

The Sanchi tanker, leased by Hanwha Total Petrochemical Co Ltd, had "valid foreign insurance", Iranian oil ministry spokesman Kasra Nouri told Iran's state television. That is equivalent to just under 1 million barrels, worth about $60 million, based on global crude oil prices.

While Chinese naval forces have deployed eight vessels as part of the rescue efforts, South Korea has pressed into service a ship and helicopter. The Crystal's crew members were all Chinese nationals.

The Sanchi has operated under five different names since it was built in 2008, according the United Nations -run International Maritime Organization.

The Panamanian-flagged oil tanker Sanchi was being operated by Iran's Glory Shipping. The National Iranian Tanker Co. describes itself as operating the largest tanker fleet in the Middle East.

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

"We have no information on their fate", he said.

Oil tanker ablaze, 32 missing after collision off China's Coast.

The 21-strong crew of the cargo ship had been rescued, it said.

Hanwha Total was not immediately available for comment.

This is the first major accident involving an Iranian oil tanker since worldwide sanctions were lifted 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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