Sanchi tanker has sunk after big explosion
A big explosion on Sunday afternoon hit the burning Iranian tanker Sanshi, when another tanker suddenly was ignited. The explosion created a huge smoke cloud and sent burning oil across a larger area of the ocean surface.
Around five o'clock the tanker, which has burned since Saturday last week after colliding with a CoscoCS bulge, sunk to the bottom of the ocean. All 32 crewmembers are considered to be deceased. Only three bodies have been found.
"There is no hope of finding surviving crew members," said Mohammad Rastad, spokesman for the Iranian rescue team sent to Shanghai.
According to the Iranian news agency, flames spread to new condensate pumps, which created a 100-meter high flame with a temperature of 350 degrees Celsius. The explosion created a smoke cloud over 1,000 meters in height.
The tanker has been hit by a number of minor explosions since the collision on the 6th of January. Last Sunday an Iranian official said there was no chance that any of the crewmembers had survived the explosion. The crew consisted of 30 Iranians and two from Bangladesh.
Thirteen ships and an Iranian command unit participated in the fire fighting operation, which took place under bad weather conditions and was impeded by the toxic smoke surrounding the tanker.
Rescue workers had retrieved the ship's voyage data recoarder on Saturday, along with two victims who were found in a rescue boat on the ship's deck. They had to leave the ship fast, bringing the two dead bodies due to the heat and toxic smoke.
Source: TradeWinds / Maritime Denmark