Tanker and ship collision near Shanghai leaves 32 missing

32 missing after Iranian tanker collides with Chinese ship, spills oil

That's equivalent to just under 1 million barrels worth around $60 million based on current global crude oil prices.

"Sanchi is floating and burning as of now", the Chinese ministry said. "We can not say all of them have died, because rescue teams are there and providing services". All 21 members of the Chinese freighter's crew, all of which who are Chinese nationals, have been rescued.

Chinese media released an image of the incident online.

According to Reuters' ship-tracking data, the oil tanker was sailing from Kharg Island in Iran to Daesan, South Korea.

The Chinese Transport Minister said there was a danger of the Iranian tanker exploding or sinking, adding that the rescue operations were extremely tricky as the toxic smoke in the area could harm the people involved, Efe news reported. The US Navy, which sent a P-8A aircraft from Okinawa, Japan, to aid the search, said late on Sunday that none of the missing crew had been found.

All 21 crew members of the Crystal, which was carrying grain from the USA to China, were rescued, the ministry said. The tanker's crew of 32 are missing; one unidentified body has been recovered.

The environmental impact was not immediately clear, and the Chinese government did not give details as to the size of the spill.

"Pollution caused by the leak is certain, but compared to the wide watershed of the Yangtze River estuary, the 136,000 tons of oil should not cause too serious a problem", Mu said. Saturday's collision marks the second such incident involving an Iranian tanker in a year and a half.

The tanker has operated under five different names since it was built in 2008, according the United Nations -run International Maritime Organization. The IMO listed its registered owner as Hong Kong-based Bright Shipping., on behalf of National Iranian Tanker, a publicly traded company based in Tehran.

The Sanchi, owned by National Iranian Tanker Co, was en route to South Korea when the collision happened.

The National Iranian Tanker Co. describes itself as operating the largest tanker fleet in the Middle East. Total did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Norwegian ship insurer Skuld has confirmed it was the lead hull insurer for the tanker and the protection and indemnity (P&I) insurer for CF Crystal.

"We are working very closely with the relevant authorities to establish the facts surrounding thecollision", it said in a statement.

As Reuters reports, the tanker, named Sanchi, collided with a Hong Kong-registered freighter off China's eastern coast.

CF Crystal, which was built in 2011, was due to arrive in China on January 10, according to Reuters ship tracking data.

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