Tokyo : A stricken Iranian oil tanker continued exploding yesterday, hampering rescue efforts, Chinese state media reported, as Japan’s Coast Guard said the ship drifted away from the Chinese coast and into Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
The ship, which has been ablaze for almost a week since it collided with another vessel on Saturday night in the East China Sea, was about 286 km (178 miles) northwest of Sokkozaki on the island of Amami Oshima as of 0700 GMT on Friday, the Japan Coast Guard said in a statement.
The vessel is drifting to the southwest at a speed of 2.2 km (1.4 miles) per hour, the Coast Guard said.
Amami Oshima is one of the northern islands in the Ryukyu islands chain that includes Okinawa.
There have been continuous explosions onboard the ship, China’s official Xinhua news agency said late on Friday, citing the Ministry of Transport.
The tanker Sanchi (IMO:9356608), owned by Iran’s top oil shipping operator National Iranian Tanker Co, was carrying almost 1 million barrels of condensate, an ultra-light, highly flammable crude oil, to South Korea.
It collided with the freighter CF Crystal (IMO:9497050) that was carrying grain from the United States about 160 nautical miles (184 km) off China’s coast near Shanghai.