China urged to continue operations to control fire on oil tanker

Tehran, Jan 11, IRNA – Minister of Cooperative, Labor and Social Welfare Ali Rabiei said that as Sanchi tanker is approaching Japanese borders, China is expected to continue operations to tame the fire.

In a meeting with Chinese Ambassador to Iran Pang Sen on Thursday, he said, “We were informed that the situation has got better and several experts of Iran National Tanker Company have arrived in China for Fire Control Operations in China.

Rabiei, who has been tasked with handling the case of Sanchi, further noted that presence of further number of Iranians in the center managing the incident will help improve the situation and alleviate the public's worries.

The wind’s direction is such that the tanker is driven towards Japanese waters, the country’s fireboats have been called for help, he said.

Rabiei said that the tanker has got closer to Japanese waters and fortunately, Japanese have voiced readiness for help, as the Chinese have promised to continue cooperation until the very end of crisis.
He also hoped that necessary cooperation would be made to provide necessary conditions for entering the tanker to get information about the fate of those on board.
“We are certain that Chinese technological power is so high that it can continue operation at night,” he said urging them not to cease operations..

Noting that Iran has called on six countries to participate in operations to put out fire, the minister said that today there were good signs that the fire is coming under control but the Chinese slowed their activities again as the night came.

Asked whether the fire would be controlled by tomorrow (Friday), he said that it was anticipated that the fire would be brought under control by Friday but since the operations stopped at night, it was not clear whether a new blast would occur or not.

As to the fate of the tanker’s crew, Rabiei said that experts have not got disappointed about their rescue.

The Iranian tanker collided with a Chinese vessel off east China coast on January 6 and all those on board went missing.

The tanker was carrying condensates to South Korea.
All 32 crew members on board the oil tanker have gone missing. All the 21 crew members on board the bulk freighter who are Chinese nationals, have been rescued.
Operations to extinguish fire and determine the fate of 32 missing crew members are still continuing.
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