2 bodies recovered from burning oil tanker in China

Friends and colleagues of the deceased Iranian seafarers aboard a tanker that sank off the coast of China weep at the headquarters of National Iranian Tanker Company in Tehran Iran Sunday Jan. 14 2018. The burning Iranian tanker listing for days off

Chinese rescuers find two bodies on burning oil tanker

Meanwhile, commander of the Chinese rescue teams has played down hopes about survival of the crew.

The Panama-registered Iranian oil tanker, Sanchi, with 32 crew members on board, caught on fire after colliding with a Hong Kong cargo ship on January 6, 160 nautical miles (296 km) from China's east coast.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi had told his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif by telephone that "as long as there is 1 percent of hope, China will continue to make 100 percent effort" to rescue and recover other members of the crew. CGTN also said the ship's voice data recorder, which functions like "black boxes" on aircraft, had been recovered.

The Chinese freighter had 21 crew members, all of whom were reported safe.

The body of one crew member was found three or four miles from the tanker two days after the collision.

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Television footage Saturday showed parts of the Sanchi still aflame, its hull and superstructure completely stripped of paint.

It remains unclear if there has been a significant oil leak into the sea.

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.

A rescue ship works to extinguish the fire on the stricken Iranian oil tanker Sanchi in the East China Sea, on January 10, 2018 in this photo provided by Japan's 10th Regional Coast Guard.

This article was first published at 1:50 a.m.

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