Chinese rescuers find two more bodies on burning Iranian tanker

Smoke rises from a fire on board the oil tanker Sanchi in the East China Sea

The tanker is carrying 136,000 tonnes of light crude from Iran and there are fears the ship could explode and sink.

The body of what the NITC believe to be one of its crew members, an Iranian national, has been recovered but has yet to be identified. A new report from the Wall Street Journal also notes that the Chinese freighter and the Iranian tanker had stopped transmitting their locations to naval tracking systems prior to the crash.

Iranian officials have criticized China's rescue efforts, but the Chinese transport ministry has insisted that "terrible" weather conditions and toxic gases from the burning oil have been hindering operations.

Thirty Iranians and two Bangladeshis were on board at the time.

Around 13 vessels, including coast guard ships from the Republic of Korea, Japan and a Japanese firefighting ship are at the site to search for the missing, control pollution and extinguish the fire.

But Chinese officials say no large oil spill has been detected so far. IMO stands ready to offer any technical assistance that may be needed.

As IRNA reported on Saturday, Rabiei who arrived in China on Saturday noted that a joint committee has been formed between Iran, China and Japan to work out the best ways to carry out rescue and search operations.

"Overall, there still appears to be plenty of questions and unknowns regarding the incident but hopefully we will know more in the coming days", ITOPF technical manager Mark Whittington said.

The source said that the Sanchi, operated by the National Iranian Tanker Company, as well as the other vessel involved in the collision, CF Crystal, have the IG reinsurance cover of up to United States dollars 7.8 billion each.

The tanker Sanchi reportedly capsized and caught fire following the collision.

The next of kin of the Iranian crew are being referred to the forensic medicine centers of the provinces of Tehran and Fars for DNA testing in order to identify the bodies retrieved from the oil tanker, he added.

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