President Rouhani issued a
message of condolences on Sunday as news broke out that the stricken tanker
sunk off China Sea after burning over a week.
In his message, Mr. Rouhani stressed
that identification of the found bodies is the first priority of salvage
operations in order to alleviate the grief of their bereft families.
The Iranian oil tanker which
hit a Chinese freighter last Saturday sank after all efforts to save its 32
onboard crew members failed.
The tanker, which carried
970,000 barrels of crude oil, collided with a Chinese balk freighter in East
China Sea on January 6, killing all the 32 crew members.
Rescue operations began by
Chinese salvagers who could find 3 bodies during search operations.
Iran sent a team of army
rangers to the scene of the incident to help rescue and firefighting efforts.
A Chinese salvage team
recovered two bodies on Saturday from Sanchi which was carrying nearly a
million barrels of gas condensate, ultra light crude oil, from Iran to South
The body of a mariner
suspected to be from the ship was recovered on Monday and sent to Shanghai for
identification, Reuters reported. The rest of the crew, which included 30
Iranians and two Bangladeshis, remains missing.
The salvage team recovered
the voyage data recorder, or “black box” from the bridge, before leaving the
vessel less than half an hour after boarding because the wind had shifted and
“thick toxic smoke” had complicated the operation, Xinhua said.