World News

.BEiJING FES10 CHINA-TANKER Oil slick off China coast trebles in size

.BEiJING FES10 CHINA-TANKER Oil slick off China coast trebles in size

Chinese Ambassador to Iran Pang Sen attended a press conference in Tehran on Sunday (January 21) to discuss the collision of Sanchi oil tanker where he offered his condolences to the bereaved families of the crew members and said "immediately after the collision, that resulted in 110,300 tons of gasoline spill and the death of 32 crew members, Chinese president and prime minister ordered for a special working group to carry out rescue operations".

"There have been multiple appearances of oil slicks of different sizes and types at the sinking spot and nearby... the slicks exceeded 77 square miles on Thursday", Huo Chuanlin, of the State Oceanic Administration's Ecological Protection Department, told reporters.

The Sanchi is an Iranian-owned, Panamanian-flagged supertanker and was carrying 113,000 tonnes of light crude oil, or condensate, when it collided with a Hong Kong-registered freighter the CF Crystal on January 6th.

The amount was revised down from the original estimate of 136,000 tons, the Ministry of Transportation said Friday.

It is also on the migratory pathway of numerous marine mammals, such as humpback and grey whales. Thirty-two crew members of the tanker, 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis, were lost.

More news: Missing After Oklahoma Rig Explosion: Emergency Official

Chinese authorities earlier secured the vessel's black box and have sent three coast guard vessels to the scene to assess the spill, the SOA said.

Bunker fuel is the heavy oil used in ships' engines and is hard to remove from the sea once spilled, unlike condensate fuel - an extremely light form of oil - that was being shipped at the time of the collision.

"But, it is necessary to do more observation to know how big the concrete impact will be", Liu said.

Because the Sanchi was not carrying crude oil, but rather condensate, a liquid by-product of natural gas and some kinds of oil production.

Scientists have cautioned the consumers in Japan, China, and South Korea to be more vigilant in purchasing seafood while the concerned governments have not yet released reports on the toxicity brought by the oil spill as it might have contaminated millions of fish with carcinogens. According to Alex Hunt, a technical manager at the London-based International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation, which assists with oil spills across the world, there has never been a condensate spill like this.


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