The fire could still be on fire in an Iranian tanker on the East China Sea for about a month, while the fire still rages for the fourth day after the carrier collided with a Chinese cargo ship, the South Korean Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries said.
Dozens of rescue boats are battling strong winds, high waves and poisonous smoke to locate 31 missing sailors and extinguish the fire amid growing fears of the tanker’s explosion or drowning, a ministry official said.
“We believe the fire will continue for two weeks or a month in view of previous oil tanker incidents,” said Park Song-dong, an official with the South Korean Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries.
The tanker, which was operated by Iran’s national tanker carrier, collided with SeaFast, which transported a shipment of grains from the United States about 160 nautical miles (300 km) off China’s coast near Shanghai on Saturday night.
The carrier was on its way from Iran to South Korea carrying 136,000 tons of flammable condensates, a little less than one million barrels worth about $ 60 million.