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Sanchi tanker rocked by explosion, firefighting operations delayed

NITC tanker Sanchi, which has been on fire for five days since a collision with Chinese bulker CF Crystal, suffered a partial explosion onboard the vessel yesterday.

According to China’s Ministry of Transport, rescue vessels were attempting to get near the tanker in order to better assess the situation when the bow suddenly exploded, forcing the suspension of firefighting operations. Authorities had earlier warned that the tanker was at risk of exploding.

The tanker has now drifted about 65 miles southeast from the site of the initial incident, while the fire onboard continues to rage. The ministry has admitted that firefighting efforts have yet to make any major progress .

Meanwhile, Japanese coastguard vessel Koshiki has arrived to the site of the accident at the request from NITC to join the search for the 31 missing seafarers from the tanker.

It is expected that winds will be weakening today, with strong winds hampering rescue operations thus far.


Jason Jiang

Jason is one of the most prolific writers on the diverse China shipping & logistics industry and his access to the major maritime players with business in China has proved an invaluable source of exclusives. Having been working at Asia Shipping Media since inception, Jason is the chief correspondent of Splash and associate editor of Maritime CEO magazine. Previously he had written for a host of titles including Supply Chain Asia, Cargo Facts and Air Cargo Week.
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