Iran: No hope to find crew members alive after oil tanker sank near China’s eastern coast
The tragic fate of sailors aboard an ill-fated Iranian oil tanker that had been burning near China’s eastern coast for a week has been sealed. Iranian officials say the vessel has fully sunk, and that available evidence indicates that all crew members died soon after it collided with another vessel and a powerful blast ensued, Press TB reports.
Thirty two crew members were on board, comprising 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis.
Mohammad Rastad, a spokesman for the Special Task Force established over the incident, said on Saturday that there was no hope to find the crew members alive.
Rastad said available evidence, including remarks by the crew members from the CF Crystal and latest updates from rescue workers and the commander-in-chief of the Chinese rescue mission, showed that the crew had died early after the collision because of the massive blast and the release of toxic gas.
Iran dispatched a rescue team, comprising Navy Commandos on speedboats, but the team was stuck some 1,000 meters away from the burning tanker due to the extreme heat.
Rastad said efforts by rescuers to embark on the ship and retrieve the bodies of the mariners failed because of back-to-back explosions on the tanker.