The Latest: Smoke still billowing from burning oil tanker
BEIJING (AP) — The Latest on a collision between an oil tanker and a freighter off China’s eastern coast (all times local):
The South Korean coast guard says thick smoke is still billowing from a burning oil tanker in the East China Sea and bad weather is also worsening visibility.
Personnel from three countries are working to find the tanker’s 32 missing crew members and contain oil spewing from the blazing wreck. The Iranian tanker and a freighter collided late Saturday.
Chinese authorities have said the Sanchi was carrying 136,000 metric tons (nearly 1 million barrels) of condensate, a type of ultra-light oil. By comparison, the Exxon Valdez was carrying 1.26 million barrels of crude oil when it spilled 260,000 barrels into Prince William Sound off Alaska in 1989.
The size of the spill and scale of the damage may be smaller. South Korean coast guard official Kwon Yong-deok told The Associated Press on Monday that much of the light, gassy condensate from the Sanchi may have evaporated or burned immediately, unlike the thick crude that gushed out of the Valdez.
Chinese state media say an Iranian oil tanker that caught fire after colliding with a freighter off China’s east coast is at risk of exploding and sinking.
Personnel from three countries are working to find the tanker’s 32 missing crew members and contain oil spewing from the blazing wreck.
State broadcaster China Central Television, citing Chinese officials, said none of the 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis who have been missing since the collision late Saturday have been found as of Monday morning. It also said the search and cleanup efforts have been hampered by fierce fires and poisonous gases that have completely consumed the tanker and surrounding waters, CCTV reported.
The tanker was sailing from Iran to South Korea when it collided with the freighter in the East China Sea late Saturday.
The U.S. Navy has joined the search for 32 missing from an Iranian oil tanker that caught fire after colliding with a bulk freighter off China’s east coast.
China, South Korea and the U.S. sent ships and planes to search for the 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis missing since the collision late Saturday. The U.S. Navy, which sent a P-8A aircraft from Okinawa, Japan, to aid the search, said late Sunday none of the missing crew had been found.
The Panama-registered tanker Sanchi was sailing from Iran to South Korea when it collided with the Hong Kong-registered freighter CF Crystal in the East China Sea, China’s Ministry of Transport said.
All 21 crew members of the Crystal were rescued, the ministry said.
It wasn’t immediately clear what caused the collision.