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.