NITC tanker Sanchi, which has been burning in the East China Sea for over a week, sank on Sunday after another major explosion onboard the vessel.
According to China’s Ministry of Transport, the tanker suffered a major explosion around noon on Sunday and sank about 4:45pm local time.
Sanchi collided with Chinese bulker CF Crystal on January 6, triggering a huge fire on the tanker. An initial explosion occurred on January 10, forcing the suspension of firefighting operations for a day.
Iranian authorities have since declared that all of the 32 crew members from the vessel are dead.
On Saturday, four Chinese rescuers boarded the tanker while the fire was temporarily under control finding the bodies of two crew in a lifeboat and also retrieving the vessel’s black box.
The rescuers made attempts to go into the accommodation block, but failed to do so due to the high temperature and toxic smoke.
The tanker had drifted around 151 miles from the accident site into Japan’s exclusive economic zone when it sank.
The fire is still burning on the water at the wreckage site and Chinese authorities are still investigating the cause of the collision incident, although no details have been revealed so far.