Oil tanker Sanchi spilling slick after ship crash in 'new Bermuda triangle'

Oil tanker SANCHI, owned by an Iranian shipping company, collided with a cargo ship.

The Chinese Transport Ministry says 32 people, a lot of them Iranians, are missing from an oil tanker that collided with a cargo ship off the east coast of China. The tanker was carrying 136,000 tons (nearly one million barrels) of condensate and headed for South Korea. Rescue efforts are being hampered by fire in and around the tanker and by bad weather.

It is the latest of dozens of shipping accidents in a region that has recently been dubbed the new Bermuda Triangle, because of the number of ships that founder there. "There is an oil slick and we are pushing forward with rescue efforts".

South Korea has also sent a ship and helicopter to help.

The AP reports that this is the second collision for the National Iranian Tanker Company in less than two years.

The Panama-registered tanker Sanchi was sailing from Iran to South Korea when it collided with the Hong Kong-registered freighter CF Crystal in the East China Sea, 257 kilometers (160 miles) off the coast of Shanghai, China's Ministry of Transport said. "We can not say all of them have died, because rescue teams are there and providing services". A Korean Coast Guard official confirmed the tanker was still on fire at 1 p.m. (0500 GMT). The vessel was carrying grain from the U.S.to Guangdong.

Total losses in 2016 according to the paper were 33 ships.

The Bermuda Triangle was a mythical area of the Atlantic Ocean between the Caribbean and Bermuda where dozens of ships and planes inexplicably sank or went missing in the 19th and 20th centuries.

It had sent four rescue ships and three cleaning boats to site by 9 a.m. (0100 GMT), it added.

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