TEHRAN, Jan. 14 (Press Shia) – A Chinese commander of Iranian Sanchi Oil Tanker’s Relief and Rescue Operations said, “despite our definite prediction of loss of all Iranian seafarers since the very beginning of the incident due to the severity of explosion and emission of toxic gases, firefighting operations as well as ship-to-ship operations are still underway by all means powerfully.”
Speaking on Sunday morning in a taskforce meeting of Chinese Crisis Committee held in the presence of Ali Rabiei President’s Special Aide to Follow up Sanchi Oil Tanker Case, he said, “from the first hours of the blast, our rescue and relief teams started searching seafarers believed to be encompassed in the engine house of the tanker.”
Expert-level studies of Chinese team show that all Iranian sailors have died at the very first hours of the blast.
Sanchi ship’s hoist, which is used to enter to rescue boats and jumping into the sea, has not been coming down, the issue of which shows that Iranian sailors on aboard had no opportunity to plunge into the water, the report added.
Observations of passing vessels also indicate that the severity of the initial blast was so high that no sailor has survived.
For his part, Ali Rabiei President’s Special Aide and chairman of the Committee to Follow-Up Sanchi Oil Tanker Case called on Chinese relief and rescue teams to spare no effort in the firefighting operations.
The Sanchi was carrying 136,000 tons of condensate, worth some $60 million, and bound for the Republic of Korea. The Panama-registered Iranian oil tanker, Sanchi, with 32 crew members on board, caught on fire after colliding with a Hong Kong cargo ship on Jan. 6, 160 nautical miles (296 km) from China’s east coast.