Rescue crews have found the body of one of the 32 crew members that went missing after an oil tanker collided with a containership off China's east coast.
Authorities found the body of the mariner aboard the vessel, according to Reuters, but 31 crew members are still missing as firefighters continue to battle the blaze 260 kilometres off the coast of Shanghai.
In a statement today (January 9, 2018), the Chinese transport ministry said that the rescue operation is now covering an area of 900 square miles.
Heavy winds, rain and waves up to four metres high have disrupted efforts to find the missing seafarers.
The Sanchi tanker had 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis onboard when it collided with the Hong Kong-registered freighter CF Crystal.
However, according to a report by Lloyd’s List, the intensity of the fire onboard the vessel has been lessened.
National Iranian Tanker Co, the state operator that owns the tanker, has also reportedly said that the risk of the tanker sinking is low.
The Sanchi tanker is leaking the 136,000 tonnes of condensate, an ultra-light version of crude oil, that it has on board — worth roughly US$ 60 million
Condensate, which is more explosive than regular crude oil, creates products such as jet fuel, petrol, diesel and heating fuel.
Park Sung-dong, an official from South Korea's Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, told Reuters: “We can't grasp the level of oil contamination at this moment.
“The cargo is still on fire, so it is hard to figure out if oil is being spilled.”