In this Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, photo provided by China's Ministry of Transport, firefighting boats work to put on a blaze on the oil tanker Sanchi in the East China Sea off the eastern coast of China. Rescue ships looking for missing crew members from the oil tanker Sanchi have expanded their search area to more than 2,600 square kilometers (1,000 square miles) as Chinese state television reported Friday that maritime authorities still have not found any survivors, or put out the blaze onboard the ship. (Ministry of Transport via AP)
BEIJING (AP) — Rescue ships looking for 31 missing crew members from a burning oil tanker have expanded their search area to more than 2,600 square kilometers (1,000 square miles), authorities said Friday.
The expanded search comes six days after the Iranian-owned Sanchi collided with a freighter in the East China Sea and burst into flames. The cause of the collision remains unclear.
Chinese state television cited officials at the scene in reporting Friday that authorities still have not found any survivors or put out the blaze on the Sanchi. One body has been recovered.
Twelve ships spraying foam are struggling to extinguish the tanker, which was carrying a cargo of nearly 1 million barrels of condensate, a type of gassy, ultra-light oil.
Search and firefighting efforts resumed Thursday after an onboard explosion rocked the tanker Wednesday. Intense flames, bad weather and poor visibility have hampered rescue efforts and Chinese authorities fear the ship could explode, potentially setting off an environmental disaster.
The Panamanian-registered vessel had a crew of 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis. The Chinese freighter CF Crystal. had 21 crew members, who all were reported safe.
Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium. Neither these AP materials nor any portion thereof may be stored in a computer except for personal and non-commercial use. Users may not download or reproduce a substantial portion of the AP material found on this web site. AP will not be held liable for any delays, inaccuracies, errors or omissions therefrom or in the transmission or delivery of all or any part thereof or for any damages arising from any of the foregoing.