An oil tanker burning in the East China Sea has sunk after an explosion, according to Chinese state media. An anchorwoman on state television also offered condolences on behalf of the nation for the loss.
Mahmoud Rastad, the chief of Iran's maritime agency, told Iranian state TV: 'There is no hope of finding survivors among the 29 members of the crew'. But Chinese officials played down fears of a major environmental disaster.
It remains unclear if there has been a significant oil leak into the sea.
On Saturday, rescue workers had found the bodies of two crew members in a lifeboat, BBC reported. The crew, comprised of 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis, died due to the blast and the release of toxic gas, he said.
Footage of the rescue showed parts of the Sanchi still aflame, its hull and superstructure completely stripped of paint.
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There are 13 vessels near where the collision took place, including two Japanese ships and a South Korean one.
The Sanchi, carrying 136,000 tons of light crude oil from Iran, has been in flames since colliding with the CF Crystal, a Hong Kong-registered bulk freighter, some 300 kilometers east of Shanghai.
The tanker has operated under five different names since it was built in 2008, according to the United Nations -run International Maritime Organization.
All 32 sailors on board an oil tanker that sank after burning for a week have been confirmed dead.
It's the second collision for a ship from the National Iranian Tanker Co.in less than a year and a half.