Tuesday, 25 September, 2018

Off the coast of China exploded oil tanker

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Melinda Barton | 13 January, 2018, 05:57

Platts reported that an Iranian oil tanker, which collided with another vessel in the East China Sea, is covered by reinsurance provided by the International Group of Protection & Indemnity Clubs, a source at an IG member P&I Club said.

The source said that the Sanchi, operated by the National Iranian Tanker Company, as well as the other vessel involved in the collision, CF Crystal, have the IG reinsurance cover of up to United States dollars 7.8 billion each.

The ship, which has been ablaze for nearly a week since the collision on January 6, is now about 286 kilometers northwest of the Japanese island of Amami Oshima, part of the Ryukyu chain that includes Okinawa, the coast guard said.

Previous statements from China's transport ministry have said the toxicity of the smoke and fierce heat generated by the burning ultra-light crude oil condensate carried by Sanchi (see photo above and video below) has hampered rescue workers, who have been forced to wear biohazard "protective suits, protective masks and [use] gas testing equipment".

Firefighting vessels on Thursday resumed attempts to put out a blaze aboard an oil tanker in the East China Sea, in a disaster that may have killed all 32 crewmembers.

The Chinese transport ministry's news feed confirmed the Panama-flagged Sanchi tanker and Hong Kong-registered freighter CF Crystal collided some 260 km off the coast of Shanghai, where the Yangtze River enters the East China Sea.

The Sanchi was carrying 136,000 tonnes of condensate, an ultra-light crude oil that becomes highly volatile when exposed to air and water, to South Korea.

An official from South Korea's Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries was quoted in a Reuters report as saying the fire could last for weeks.

The crew of the Sanchi are all Iranian nationals except for two Bangladeshi citizens.

China's Ministry of Transport and Maritime Safety would not comment when asked if the fire was out.

China's transport ministry says rescuers have found a body believed to be of a sailor from the Iranian oil tanker on fire after a collision at sea.The ministry said the body had yet to be identified.

The cause and damage to the tanker from the incident were not clear.

Trying to contain a spill of condensate, which is extremely low in density, highly toxic and much more explosive than normal crude oil, may be hard.

Euronews has gathered the despair of relatives: "We want worldwide aid for our children who are probably alive in the tanker - says a mother - help them, they are human beings who need help right away.We appeal to the global community. see our loved ones soon ".