Japanese Firm Contracted to Help Extinguish Fire in Burning Iranian Tanker

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) and a Japanese company on Tuesday reached a deal on putting out the blaze of an Iranian oil tanker that is still burning in waters off China’s eastern coast, the spokesman for an emergency task force on the incident said.

نفتکش ایرانی

Speaking to reporters in Tehran on Tuesday, Mohsen Bahrami said the Japanese company has reached an agreement with the NITC to help extinguish the fire of the tanker.

The Japanese firm has dispatched its equipment to the site of the incident, he added.

The company will contribute to the operation alongside with Chinese firefighters, the official said.

A delegation from the NITC has traveled to China to be informed of the latest efforts to extinguish the fire and rescue the crew members of the Iranian oil tanker.

The oil tanker continues to burn off the coast of Shanghai, days after it collided with a bulk ship and caught fire, according to a report by the National Public Radio.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday ordered related officials to use all national and regional capacities to expedite efforts to determine the fate of the tanker’s missing crew members. 

One crew member has been found dead, while 31 others remain missing as firefighters continue to battle the blaze.

“Searchers have found the body of one of the missing sailors,” CEO of Ports and Maritime Organization of Iran Mohammad Rastad said on Monday, adding that teh body has been sent to Shanghai for identification.

Meanwhile, the managing director of the NITC said the tanker is giving off poisonous gases, hindering rescue work there.

Bad weather at sea has made the rescue and cleanup efforts difficult, and authorities are worried the ship will explode and sink, leaking all of its oil.

Iran has set up a special emergency committee in Tehran to help in the ongoing international search and rescue mission aimed at finding the missing crew members, 30 of whom were Iranian and the other two were from Bangladesh.

The Panama-registered tanker Sanchi was steaming from Iran to South Korea carrying 136,000 tons of crude oil when it collided with a Chinese freighter on Saturday evening, sparking a massive fire.

The CF Crystal had been damaged but “without jeopardizing the safety of the ship” and all of its 21 Chinese crew had been rescued, according to China’s transport ministry.

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