Iranian oil tanker burns for third day after collision off China coast

Saturday, 13 Jan, 2018

Mr. Rabiei issued the letter on Thursday addressing his Chinese counterpart, Yin Weimin, the Chinese Minister of Human Resources and Social Security.

A stricken Iranian oil tanker which is on fire in the East China Sea could burn for as long as one month, South Korea's Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries says.

The Sanchi was carrying 136,000 tonnes of condensate, an ultra-light crude that is highly flammable, to South Korea.

Rescue crews were forced to retreat on Wednesday after a blast on the ship.

The ministry has sent 12 rescue ships to search for the 31 remaining tanker crew members and to extinguish the fire.

In pic: This handout picture by Transport Ministry of China shows a Chinese offshore supply ship "Shen Qian Hao" (top L) spraying foam on the burning oil tanker "Sanchi" (R) at sea off the coast of eastern China.

Hanwha Total confirmed Monday that any financial losses incurred by the undelivered oil would be fully covered by its own insurance package deals, while the company bears no legal responsibilities over the vessel collision and environmental damages caused by the recent accident.

The Sanchi was carrying almost 1 million barrels of ultra-light oil when it collided Saturday evening with a freighter 160 miles off the coast and caught fire.

Right after the hit, the tanker spilled oil and burst into flames.

Chinese authorities had on Monday warned that the vessel could explode.

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

China, South Korea and the US have sent ships and planes to search for the Sanchi's crew, all of whom remain missing.

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

Mr Sung-dong said it was unlikely the oil would spread to South Korea because the tanker had moved 100 kilometres to the south-east. "We can not say all of them have died, because rescue teams are there and providing services".

Hanwa Total is a 50-50 partnership between the Seoul-based Hanwha Group and the French oil giant Total.

It's the second collision for a ship from the National Iranian Tanker less than a year and a half.

Concerns were growing that the tanker may explode and sink while a flotilla of 13 search and rescue vessels comb a 900-square-nautical-mile area around the ship for the crew.