Environmentalists Warn of Pollution From Burning Oil Tanker in East China Sea
Environmentalists have raised concerns over pollution and potential damage to fish stocks in the East China Sea as a large tanker continues to leak oil four days after colliding with a cargo ship.
The oil tanker Sanchi, en route from Iran to South Korea, was still ablaze after a collision on Saturday with CF Crystal, a cargo ship registered in Hong Kong, Chinas Ministry of Transport said in a statement Wednesday.
The collision happened about 160 nautical miles (184 miles) east of the Yangtze River estuary, according to the ministry.
Of the 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis on board the tanker, only one body has been found so far, the ministry said.
At least 13 vessels have been deployed to put out the blaze, but rain and high winds have hampered rescue and salvage operations.
The Panama-flagged ship was loaded with 136,000 tons of ultra-light oil knows as condensate, according to ministry. But the authorities stopped short of giving any details about the extent of a possible oil spill.
Condensate could burn off or evaporate quickly and would leave little residue compared to crude oil, because it is highly soluble in water, according to Zhao Ruxiang of the Yantai Maritime Bureau in the eastern province of Shandong. This reduces the chances of leaving a thick oil slick like those from crude oil leaks in the past, said Zhao, a senior engineer at the bureaus Yantai Oil Spill and Emergency Response Technical Center.
But this type of oil has a high concentration of toxic chemicals such as ....