China on Monday expressed condolences to the families of the crew of sunken oil tanker Sanchi, saying it will help Iran deal with the aftermath of the accident.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said Chinese rescuers approached the tanker many times at the risk of their lives to search and fight the fire at close range. China also coordinated rescue teams from Japan and the Republic of Korea.
The Panama-registered oil tanker Sanchi, carrying 136,000 tonnes of light crude oil from Iran, collided with the CF Crystal, a Hong Kong-registered bulk freighter, about 300 kilometers east of the Yangtze River estuary on Jan. 6. Thirty-two crew members of the tanker, 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis, were lost.
The entire ship sunk Sunday afternoon, leaving a large amount of spilled oil burning on the surface.
Lu said according to Iranian media reports, it is believed that all crew members were dead within an hour of the collision.
"I would like to express my respect and appreciation to all rescuers for the bravery and professionalism they showed during the process," Lu said.