New Explosion on Burning Iran Oil Tanker

Lloyd Doyle
January 12, 2018

Experts warned that a spill of the Panamanian-flagged 274-metre (899-foot) tanker's cargo could spell environmental catastrophe as authorities said the ship could explode or sink.

China sent four rescue ships and three cleaning boats to the site, South Korea dispatched a ship and a helicopter, while a U.S. Navy military aircraft searched an area of about 3,600 square nautical miles (12,350 sq km) for crew members.

Ship tracking data shows the collision occurred in waters not frequently used by large vessels like tankers, dry-bulk carriers or container ships.

Fourteen ships are carrying out emergency response work, including one from Japan and two from South Korea, the transport ministry said in a statement released late on Friday.

Previous statements from China's transport ministry have said the toxicity of the smoke and fierce heat generated by the burning ultra-light crude oil condensate carried by Sanchi (see video above and photo below) has hampered rescue workers, who have been forced to wear biohazard "protective suits, protective masks and [use] gas testing equipment".

The ship, which has been ablaze for nearly a week since it collided with another vessel on Saturday night in the East China Sea, was about 286 km (178 miles) northwest of Sokkozaki on the island of Amami Oshima as of 0700 GMT on Friday, the Japan Coast Guard said in a statement. Meanwhile, all 21 crew members of the Hong Kong cargo ship have been rescued.

The 21 Chinese crew members on the CF Crystal, carrying grain from the United States, were rescued. Condensate is highly toxic and even more combustible than regular crude oil.

Oil is usually not degradable, meaning the damage to the ocean would be long-term, he said.

"It is toxic and volatile when exposed to air", Zhao said.

According to the Shanghai Maritime Bureau, the incident has not disrupted traffic into and out of Shanghai or China's Yangtze River ports.

Trying to contain a spill of condensate, which is extremely low in density, highly toxic and much more explosive than normal crude oil, may be hard.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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