The Sanchi, the burning Iranian oil tanker that had drifted into Japan’s exclusive economic zone, has sunk, Chinese media reported on Sunday.
The stricken tanker, which had been adrift and on fire for more than a week following a collision with another vessel in the East China Sea, had “suddenly ignited” and become engulfed in flames around noon.
Thirteen ships, including one from South Korea and two from Japan, were engaged in the rescue and cleanup effort Saturday morning, spraying foam in an effort to extinguish the fire. Rescuers recovered the bodies of two crew members on the burning ship, leaving 27 crew still unaccounted for. The bodies were found on the lifeboat deck of the tanker. Rescuers stayed aboard less than 30 minutes but were able to recover the ship’s data and video recordings.