The Sanchi: Oil Spill to Endanger Marine Life

The Iranian Tanker Sanchi Burning in the East China Sea. Photo: Screenshot from a YouTube Video
The Iranian Tanker Sanchi Burning in the East China Sea. Photo: Screenshot from a YouTube Video

The Chinese ships are trying to clean up a ‘giant oil spill’ in the East China Sea after the Iranian oil tanker Sanchi sank with its 136,000 tons of ultra-light crude oil.

The Chinese officials reported of a 46 sq mile oil slick which is thought to be ‘made up of heavy fuel that was used to power the vessel’, BBC reported.

The Iranian oil tanker Sanchi sank on Sunday with all its crew members after a week it collided with a cargo ship on 6 January.

The environmentalists fear of an adverse impact of the giant slick from the Sanchi on the marine life.

The tanker was carrying 136,000 tons of ultra-light crude oil from Iran to South Korea. The ultra-light crude oil creates a toxic underwater slick.

The environmentalists fear of an adverse impact of the giant slick from the Sanchi on the marine life.

 MV Sanchi, the Iranian oil tanker, collided with a cargo ship 260 km off Shanghai on 6 January. The tanker was drifting towards south-eastern Japan.

The crew members have been reported as dead after the tanker blasted. The Iranian officials reported that there were 32 crew members on the ship. 30 of the crew members were Iranian while 2 others were Bangladeshis, according to the officials in Iran.

The Chinese media reported that the rescue mission was canceled, and two ships were taking part in the clean-up operation.

The ships were spraying chemicals to dissolve the oil from the water.

According to the Chinse media, the Sanchi has gone down around 04:00 GMT after a sudden igniting. An Iranian commando along with 13 vessels have been conducting a rescue operation but the salvage operation was hindered by bad weather.

Only three bodies have been found in the weeklong salvage operation. The rest of the bodies of the crew members have gone down with the tanker. The black box of the ship had been retrieved only to leave immediately because of the toxic smoke and high temperature.

Shana, an Iranian news agency reported that the National Iranian Tanker Company used to manage the Sanchi. The cargo is reported to be of $60 million worth. The oil Sanchi was carrying was purchased by South Korean customers, Shana reported.


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