All 32 People Aboard Burning Oil Tanker Presumed Dead, Iran Says

Chinese rescuers find two bodies on burning oil tanker

Iranian oil tanker sinks one week after collision - reports

The Panama-registered Sanchi tanker is shown burning on January 9 in the East China Sea.

Rescuers on Saturday recovered the bodies of two crew members of an Iranian oil tanker that's been on fire since colliding with a freighter last week in the East China Sea. The Sanchi was carrying 136,000 tonnes of light crude oil from Iran when the collision happened.

China's State Oceanic Administration said because the hull of the ship had detonated, a large amount of oil in surrounding waters was on fire, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

Speaking at a joint press conference with the Iranian labor minister on Sunday morning, the Chinese commander said all people on board the doomed tanker are feared dead, given the magnitude of the initial explosion in the crash. A spokesman for the Iranian team, Mohammad Rastad, said there was no hope of finding any survivors. The crew, comprised of 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis, died due to the blast and the release of toxic gas, he said. One body was recovered from the sea earlier this week, leaving 29 crew members still unaccounted for.

The Chinese freighter CF Crystal that collided with the Panamanian-registered tanker had 21 crew members, who all were reported safe.

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