The Panama-registered Sanchi tanker is shown burning on January 9 in the East China Sea.
Black smoke could still be seen billowing from the site of the collision as oil left behind by the tanker continued to burn. The ship sank before 5 p.m. (4 a.m. EST), CCTV said.
Speaking on Sunday morning in a taskforce meeting of Chinese Crisis Committee held in the presence of Ali Rabiei President's Special Aide to Follow up Sanchi Oil Tanker Case, he said, "from the first hours of the blast, our rescue and relief teams started searching seafarers believed to be encompassed in the engine house of the tanker".
The Iranian ship had 32 mariners on board. Picture taken on January 10, 2018.
State TV quoted Mahmoud Rastad, the chief of Iran's maritime agency, as saying: "There is no hope of finding survivors among the (missing) 29 members of the crew".
The Administration said it would expand the scope of its monitoring and "quickly ascertain the spread and drift of overflowing oil" from the wrecked ship.
Three bodies have been recovered, while the other 29 bodies have not been found. The tanker was carrying a cargo of almost 1 million barrels of condensate, a type of gassy, ultra-light oil that readily evaporates or burns off in a fire, reducing the chance of a major oil spill.
It collided with the CF Crystal, which was carrying grain from the United States, about 160 nautical miles (114 miles) off China's coast near Shanghai. The crew, comprised of 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis, died due to the blast and the release of toxic gas, he said.