Burning oil tanker drifts into Japan's EEZ

Burning oil tanker drifts into Japan's EEZ

There have been continuous explosions onboard the ship, China's official Xinhua news agency said late on Friday, citing the Ministry of Transport.

The ministry said the body recovered Monday had yet to be identified but was wearing a protective suit created to withstand cold seawater.

The Sanchi "is floating and burning as of now", the Chinese Transportation Ministry said Monday.

"The Chinese government takes maritime accidents like this very seriously, and has already dispatched many search and rescue teams to the scene to carry out search and rescue", said the foreign ministry's Lu said.

IRAN said a fresh explosion on a stricken oil tanker was complicating rescue efforts as Japan reported the vessel had drifted into its exclusive economic zone. The Hong Kong freighter, the CF Crystal, wasn't seriously damaged, and all 21 crew members on board were rescued.

Toxic gas spreading in the area is said to be hampering the firefighting and rescue efforts.

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The Sanchi was carrying 136,000 tons of Iranian oil condensate, a light, colorless fossil fuel, from Iran to South Korea; the CF Crystal was carrying USA grain to southern China.

The collision has set off concerns of a potential environmental disaster, although condensate is more likely to evaporate or burn off immediately than thick, heavy crude oil.

Three days later, rescuers found the body of a sailor from the Iranian tanker, which partially exploded.

The tanker has operated under five different names since it was built in 2008, according the United Nations -run International Maritime Organization. The IMO listed its registered owner as Hong Kong-based Bright Shipping Ltd., on behalf of the National Iranian Tanker Co., a publicly traded company based in Tehran.

The entire crew of the Panamanian-registered vessel — 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis — went missing after its collision with the Chinese freighter CF Crystal.

Ship tracking data shows the collision occurred in waters not frequently used by large vessels like tankers, dry-bulk carriers or container ships.

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