An oil tanker burning in the East China Sea has sunk a week after it collided with another vessel, according to Chinese state media. The Panama-registered Sanchi tanker sank Sunday after an explosion rocked it and sent flames shooting up, CCTV reported. The Sanchi was carrying 136,000 tons — around 1 million barrels — of oil from Iran to South Korea when it collided with the Hong Kong-registered CF Crystal freighter in the East China Sea on January 7.
Chinese maritime authorities launched a search and rescue operation for the 30 Iranian and two Bangladeshi crew aboard the Sanchi. China’s Ministry of Transport said the 21 Chinese sailors from the CF-Crystal had been rescued.
Iran joined the international rescue effort led by China, sending a rescue team of its own, including Iranian navy commandos on speedboats. But the teams couldn’t get close to the burning tanker due to the heat.