Iranian oil tanker ‘could explode and sink’ after collision

An Iranian oil tanker is on fire after colliding with a Chinese freight ship off the coast of Shanghai and could be at risk of exploding and sinking. That’s according […]

By Jonny Bairstow

An Iranian oil tanker is on fire after colliding with a Chinese freight ship off the coast of Shanghai and could be at risk of exploding and sinking.

That’s according to Alireza Irvash, the Iranian Consul General in Shanghai, who reportedly said efforts to find missing crew members and contain oil leaking were being hampered by fires and toxic gases.

The 274 metre-long Sanchi was reportedly carrying around 136,000 tons of an ultra-light condensate oil from Iran to South Korea when it collided with the CF Crystal, which was transporting food and grain supplies.

Rescue teams from China, South Korea and the US are currently searching for the 32-strong crew of the Sanchi, one of whom has been confirmed dead already.

All 21 crew members of the CF Crystal were rescued.

The Sanchi’s condensate cargo was estimated to be worth more than $60 million (£44.3m) – the fuel is extremely low density, highly toxic and more explosive than normal crude oil.

Along with being nearly odorless and colourless, this makes it much harder to contain and collect from the sea.