Alwaght- A stricken Iranian oil tanker that had drifted into Japan’s exclusive economic zone has capsized after exploding with all 32 crewmembers presumed dead, Iranian officials say.
Iranian oil tanker MV Sanchi caught fire last Saturday night after it collided with the CF Crystal, a Hong Kong-registered bulk freighter carrying wheat from the US, about 160 nautical miles east of the Yangtze estuary.
It had been burning ever since despite international rescue efforts. Those efforts were hampered because of the scale of the fire and heat. The tanker was carrying 136,000 metric tons (nearly one million barrels) of condensate, a type of ultra-light oil, which kept on exploding.
Thirty-two crewmembers were on board, comprising 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis.
Mohammad Rastad, a spokesman for the Special Task Force established over the incident, said on Saturday that there was no hope to find the crew members alive.
Rastad said available evidence, including remarks by the crew members from the CF Crystal and latest updates from rescue workers and the commander-in-chief of the Chinese rescue mission, showed that the crew had died early after the collision because of the massive blast and the release of toxic gas.