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China Debating Whether to Raise Sunken Iranian oil Tanker

  • Associated Press

Huo Chuanlin, deputy director of the Department of Ecological and Environment Protection of China's State Oceanic Administration, holds a photo showing a rescue ship and an oil slick during a press conference about the Iranian oil tanker Sanchi, which exploded and sank after a collision in the East China Sea in January, at the Information Office of the Ministry of Transport in Beijing, Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018. Chinese officials say they are still debating whether to try to raise an Iranian oil tanker that sank last month with the loss of all 32 crew members.

Chinese officials say they are still debating whether to raise an Iranian oil tanker that sank last month with the loss of all 32 crew members.

Chinese transport ministry officials told reporters Thursday that 1,900 tons of the Sanchi's fuel oil and some of the tanker's natural gas condensate cargo remains trapped underwater.

Officials say the remaining oil could explode or pose other dangers, complicating their plans to salvage the ship. Authorities are also trying to minimize the environmental damage.

The Sanchi caught fire after colliding with a freighter on Jan. 6 and exploded and sank days later about 530 kilometers (330 miles) southeast of Shanghai.

Three bodies were recovered from the sea and the tanker before it sank. Officials say no other bodies have been found.

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