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The Wall Street Journal: Blazing Iranian oil tanker at risk of exploding after collision at sea

Chinese authorities warned Monday that a large Iranian oil tanker that collided with a cargo ship in the East China Sea over the weekend was at risk of explosion and sinking.

In a statement posted online, the Shanghai Maritime Safety Administration said that areas surrounding the Sanchi tanker were still burning, as well as giving off poisonous gas that hindered rescue work.

The 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis who were aboard the 899-feet tanker late Saturday, when the accident occurred, still haven’t been found. Twenty-one Chinese crew members on the Hong Kong-registered cargo ship also involved in the crash were rescued, Chinese authorities said.

According to China’s state broadcaster CCTV, the tanker—operated by state-controlled shipping firm National Iranian Tanker Co.—was carrying 136,000 tons of highly-flammable condensate, which is especially prone to explosion. Shanghai maritime authorities have set up a 10-nautical-mile cordon around the affected area, some 184 miles off China’s eastern coast.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com

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