Tanker, Ship Collision off China: Two Bangladeshis among 32 missing

Iran confirms its oil tanker incident, says 30 citizens missing (UPDATE)

Iran confirms its oil tanker incident, says 30 citizens missing (UPDATE)

Smoke and fire is seen from Panama-registered tanker Sanchi carrying Iranian oil after it collided with a Chinese freight ship in the East China Sea, in this still image taken from a January 7, 2018 video.

The Chinese Transport Ministry says 32 people, a lot of them Iranians, are missing from an oil tanker that collided with a cargo ship off the east coast of China.

The tanker was still ablaze yesterday.

It had sent four rescue ships and three cleaning boats to the site by 9 a.m. (0100 GMT) on Sunday, the ministry added.

Dramatic pictures show plumes of black smoke rising from the scene as the ship is engulfed by a huge fire.

The second vessel was Hong Kong-flagged cargo ship carrying 64,000 tonnes of grain, AFP reported.

It was not immediately clear how much environmental damage had been caused or the volume of oil spilled into the sea.

Chinese maritime authorities have sent eight ships and South Korea has sent a plane and a 3,000-tonne coastguard ship.

"We are working very closely with the relevant authorities to establish the facts surrounding the collision", it said in a statement. The tanker was carrying 136,000 tons (nearly one million barrels) of condensate and headed for South Korea.

The Panamanian-flagged oil tanker Sanchi was being operated by Iran's Glory Shipping. The Foreign Ministry said in a separate statement that the cause of the incident was under investigation.

Saturday's collision was the latest fatal maritime accident to hit East Asia in recent years.

It was not known if any of the tanker's missing 32 crew members had been rescued, said the coast guard official, who declined to give his name as he was not authorised to speak to media.

The USS John S McCain collided with a tanker off Singapore in August, killing 10 sailors and injuring five others.

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