An Iranian oil tanker ablaze off the Chinese coast is at risk of exploding or sinking, authorities said Monday, as they reported there was no sign of survivors 36 hours after the vessel erupted
A huge fire was still raging around the stricken ship, which had been carrying 136,000 tonnes of light oil, with fierce heat and thick black smoke billowing from the vessel and the surrounding sea.
Rescuers attempting to reach the crew of 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis were beaten back by toxic clouds, China’s transportation ministry said.
The Panamanian-flagged 274-metre (899-foot) tanker Sanchi is “in danger of exploding or sinking,” the ministry said. The accident occurred on Saturday evening 160 nautical miles east of Shanghai.
The tanker, was heading to South Korea when it collided with a Hong Kong-flagged cargo ship.
Ten government vessels and “many fishing ships” were helping with the ongoing rescue and clean up effort, the transportation ministry said.