• 23:54
  • 29.03.2020
Iran firm hopeful of oil tanker survivors

Iran firm hopeful of oil tanker survivors

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The Iranian company whose oil tanker burst into flames after a collision in the East China Sea says there is still hope of finding survivors as 31 crew members remain missing.

As the stricken Sanchin still lists after colliding with the Hong Kong-registered freighter CF Crystal late Saturday, a spokesman for National Iranian Tanker Co told The Associated Press that rescuers "likely" will find survivors.

"Since the vessel's engine room is not directly affected by the fire and is about 14 metres under water, there is still hope," spokesman Mohsen Bahrami said. "We are persistently working to put out the fire and rescue possible survivors."
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The body of one of the 32 crew members has been recovered and taken to Shanghai for identification, Bahrami said.

Mahmoud Abuli Ghasemabadi, the brother of missing Iranian sailor Ehasan Abuli Ghasemabadi, said he and other families remained hopeful for good news.

"I ask countries that are in that region and can offer any assistance to help us deal with this situation as soon as possible," Ghasemabadi said.
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The Panamanian-registered Sanchin had a crew of 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis, Chinese state media reported. The 21 members of the Crystal's all-Chinese crew were rescued.

What caused Saturday's collision in the East China Sea, 257km off the coast of Shanghai, remains unclear.

The Sanchi was carrying 136,000 metric tonnes or nearly one million barrels of condensate, a type of ultra-light oil, according to Chinese authorities.
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