All sailors aboard Iranian burning oil tanker announced dead

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Sanchi, with 32 people on board, including 30 Iranians, collided with a Chinese freight ship in the East China Sea on January 6 and had been burning ever since.

China Central Television said the Sanchi, which had drifted into Japan's exclusive economic zone, "suddenly ignited" around noon, with flames spreading from end to end, before sinking.

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The ship has been ablaze for nearly a week since it collided with another vessel on January 6 in the East China Sea and has been drifting into Japanese economic zone over the past several days.

Meanwhile, Iranian commando forces who have been stationed at Port of Shanghai since Thursday, have received the go-ahead to board the ablaze vessel in search of survivors.

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The Sanchi, owned by National Iranian Tanker Co, was carrying nearly 1 million barrels of condensate, an ultra-light crude oil, to South Korea. The cause of the collision remains unclear and 29 crew members are still unaccounted for. The crew was all Iranian except for two Bangladeshis.

A stricken Iranian oil tanker is sinking in the East China Seas and there is no hope to rescue the crew members, an Iranian maritime official said. All 21 of the cargo ship's crew were reported safe.

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