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Burning Iranian oil tanker sinks, 32 crew presumed dead

Burning Iranian oil tanker sinks, 32 crew presumed dead
From Al Jazeera - January 14, 2018

An Iranian oil tanker that caught fire after colliding with a freighter in East China Sea more than a week ago has sunk, with some 30 crewmen still missing, Chinese state media said on Sunday.

The stricken tanker, registered under Panama and named the Sanchi, had been adrift and on fire since January 6 collision. China Central Television (CCTV) reportedthat large amounts of oil were burning where the tanker went down.

"Currently, it has already sunk," CCTV said, citing the Shanghai Maritime Search and Rescue Centre. It showed a video of a tower of billowing black smoke and flames on the surface of the water. The ship sank before 5 pm (0900 GMT), CCTV said.

At the time of the accident, the ship had 32 crew members on board: 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis. A rescue team from China has recovered three bodies and retrievedthe 'black box'.

The Port and Maritime Organization of Iran (MOI), in a statement on Sunday, extended its condolences to the families of the sailors, stating that no crew members had survived following the accident.

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