China sets up traffic control area around sunken tanker Sanchi

Updated 2018-02-02 09:11:01 Xinhua

China has set up a traffic control area in the East China Sea around the site where Iranian oil tanker Sanchi sunk, to ensure navigation safety and prevent secondary disasters, an official said Thursday.

Authorities have cordoned off an area with a radius of 10 nautical miles surrounding the location where the tanker sank more than two weeks ago, according to Zhi Guanglu, an official with the Ministry of Transportation.

Meanwhile, China has "not given up efforts in searching for the missing crew members," he told a press conference.

The Panama-registered, Iranian-owned oil tanker Sanchi, carrying 113,000 tonnes of light crude oil, collided with the CF Crystal, a Hong Kong-registered bulk freighter, about 300 kilometers east of the Yangtze estuary on Jan. 6 and sank on Jan. 14.

The 32 crew members onboard the tanker -- 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis -- were lost.

Zhi revealed that the black box of the ship had been opened at the presence of all parties involved, namely China, Iran, Panama and China's Hong Kong.

All the sides have reached an agreement to establish an investigation team to probe the accident together, he said.

"We will maintain communication with the Iranian side and decide whether to salvage the ship after further discussion with the ship-owner and the flag country in accordance with relevant international treaties," Zhi said.

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