Rouhani orders labor min. to immediately determine fate of oil tanker crew

14 Enero, 2018, 02:05 | Author: Kelly Blake
  • Iran Tanker Which Caught Fire Off China Drifts Into Japan Economic Zone Says Coast Guard

The official said that an agreement has also been signed between Iran and China on handling the rescue operations on Sanchi oil tanker.

Two bodies are found on board the Iranian oil tanker burning in the East China Sea, Chinese state media says, a week after it collided with another ship.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani in a telephone conversation with Iran's Minister of Cooperative, Labor and Social Welfare Ali Rabiei called for mobilization of all facilities to help rescue oil tanker crew members at the earliest, IRNA reported.

The tanker Sanchi, owned by Iran's top oil shipping operator National Iranian Tanker Co, was carrying nearly 1 million barrels of condensate, an ultra-light, highly flammable and explosive fuel, to South Korea.

However, extreme conditions including strong winds, high waves, and toxic gases are complicating the efforts of dozens of rescue boats attempting to distinguish the fire and locate the 31 missing crew members. The Crystal's crew members were all Chinese nationals.

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The cause of the collision is still unclear. It was not clear as of Sunday afternoon whether the tanker was still spilling oil.

In comparison, the Exxon Valdez had 1.26 million barrels of crude oil on board when it spilled 260,000 barrels into Prince William Sound off Alaska in 1989, in the second largest oil spill in American history. A team of Iranian commandos is joining the operation.

"Overall, there still appears to be plenty of questions and unknowns regarding the incident but hopefully we will know more in the coming days", ITOPF technical manager Mark Whittington said. "We can not say all of them have died, because rescue teams are there and providing services".

The tanker and its cargo, sailing to South Korea, were both insured by a reputable foreign insurance company, according to the Iranian officials. The condensate cargo had been purchased by South Korea's Hanwha Total Petrochemical and it was scheduled for delivery to Daesan over January 8-10.

The company that bought the condensate is South Korean Hanwa Total Petrochemical, a joint venture between South Korean Hanwa General Chemicals and French Total.

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