Burning Iranian Tanker Drifts Into Japan's Exclusive Economic Zone - Coast Guard

Iran NITC tanker in East China Sea collision covered by IG P&I reinsurance - IG member

Firefighting resumes, search efforts continue in Sanchi tanker blaze

This has increased concerns that the ship may break up and sink.

After the collision with a Hong Kong cargo ship in the China Sea, the Iranian oil tanker headed to South Korea started to burn.

Satellite footage of the ship indicates that the strength of the blaze has decreased since the collision on Saturday, although strong winds have already pushed it 50 kilometers further from the Chinese coastline.

Search and firefighting efforts resumed Thursday after an onboard explosion rocked the tanker Wednesday.

The ship, which has been ablaze for nearly a week since it collided with another vessel on Saturday night in the East China Sea, was about 300 km northwest of Sokkozaki on the island of Amami Oshima as of Thursday afternoon, a spokesman from the Coast Guard's 10th region based in Kagoshima said.

The Panama-bound oil tanker, the Sanchi, was carrying 136,000 tons of condensate, a lighter version of crude oil, when it crashed with a bulk carrier destined for Hong Kong around 160 miles off the coast of Shanghai.

The spokesman of Japan's Coast Guard stated that China has rejected Japan's offer for providing assistance in extinguishing the fire and rescuing the sailors and has said that in case the need arises, they will call for help from Japan.

According to China's state-owned China Central Television (CCTV), the tanker drifted about 25 miles (40 kms) to the south over the past two days, as of 9 a.m (0100 GMT) on Friday. The body of a mariner suspected to be from the ship was recovered on Monday and sent to Shanghai for identification. Intense flames, bad weather and poor visibility have hampered rescue efforts and Chinese authorities fear the ship could explode, potentially setting off an environmental disaster.

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