China Vows To Rescue Missing Sailors From Iranian Tanker Crash Off East Coast

Last update: 12/01/2018

TEHRAN, Jan 12 (Bernama) -- China is making every effort to rescue the missing sailors after two vessels collided off China's east coast last Saturday, China's Xinhua news agency reported Chinese Ambassador to Iran Pang Sen as saying on Thursday night.

Pang made the remarks during his meeting with Iran's Minister of Labor, Cooperatives and Social Welfare Ali Rabiei.

Thirty-two crew members, including 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis, have gone missing after a Panama-registered oil tanker and a Hong Kong-registered bulk freighter collided off China's east coast on Saturday evening, in waters about 160 sea miles east of the Yangtze River's estuary.

Pang said China is trying its best to rescue the missing sailors, with the unity command and coordination under Ministry of Transport Maritime Search and Rescue Center.

"There is poor sea condition in the incident area, the oil tanker is still in blaze. Nevertheless, Chinese people have risked their lives several times to get close to the tanker to put out the fire," said Pang.

The Chinese envoy revealed that there were about 20 vessels for rescue, including two from South Korea and Japan respectively, and a UAV for searching and supervising.

A foreigner's body has been found. Embassies of Bangladesh and Iran are on their way to identify his personal information, Pang added.

The ambassador pointed out that rescuing the missing crew has alway been China's priority out of international humanitarian spirit and the traditional friendship between China and Iran.

"Ministry of Transport Maritime Search and Rescue Center is in charge of rescue command and coordination. It will release updated authoritative information in time. I hope people will follow up information from Chinese authorities rather than rumors, which could cause trouble to our rescue operation and hurt China-Iran relations," Pang stressed.