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Iranian tanker causes huge oil spill in East China Sea

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Staff Writer | January 15, 2018
Sanchi sinks
Ecology   Rescue officials were able to save 21 Chinese sailors

An Iranian tanker that sank in the East China Sea has left a huge oil spill of 120 square kilometer that could pose a serious threat to marine life.

The Sanchi oil tanker sank on Sunday and all its crew members are also presumed dead.

The tanker was carrying 136,000 tonnes of ultra-light crude oil from Iran to South Korea when it collided with the Hong Kong-registered CF Crystal freighter in the East China Sea on January 7.

Chinese authorities had launched a search-and-rescue operation for the 30 Iranian and two Bangladeshi crew aboard the Sanchi. However, they were not able to get close to the tanker because of the heat.

Rescue officials were able to save 21 Chinese sailors from the CF-Crystal. However, Sanchi's crew members were presumed dead, according to Iranian state media.

Since its initial collision on January 7, the tanker had been on fire and drifting in the waters between Shanghai and southern Japan. Sanchi's fuel and its cargo of ultra-light crude oil could cause a huge damage to marine life.

According to Greenpeace, the oil spill has occurred in an important spawning ground for several species of fish and on a migratory pathway of many marine mammals, including three species of whale.


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