BEIJING – An Iranian tanker that had caught fire after collision with a freighter in the East China Sea early in the month sunk on Sunday after a fresh explosion, China’s transport ministry said in a statement.
The oil tanker Sanchi – registered in Panama – caught fire after a collision with the Hong Kong-registered bulk freighter CF Crystal on Jan. 6 in the East China Sea, about 160 nautical miles east of the Yangtze River estuary.
The latest explosion took place around midday, when the tanker erupted into high flames reaching between 800 (2,625 feet) and 1000 meters, the statement said.
Out of the 32 sailors who were reported missing in the accident, rescue teams could only find the bodies of three.
Chinese authorities had continued the search for the remaining sailors until Sunday.
Ali Rabiei, the head of the special Iranian committee in charge of monitoring the accident, said on Sunday they believe the missing sailors to have been killed in the accident, reported the Iranian state television.