China, Iran and Panama Sign Oil Tanker Sanchi Investigation Report

China, Iran and Panama have signed an investigative report on the sinking of the Iranian tanker Sanchi, the Chinese Ministry of Transport said.

On January 6, the Panamanian vessel Sanchi, which was carrying 136,000 tons of light crude oil from Iran, collided with CF Crystal, a bulk cargo ship registered in Hong Kong, about 300 kilometres east of the Yangtze Estuary.

After the collision, Chinese personnel risked their lives to rescue the crew members who were aboard the Sanchi and extinguished the flames on the tanker. The accident caused the death of three oil tankers and the disappearance of 29, as well as serious damage to the Hong Kong ship.

After months of scrutiny by a joint research group of the three countries, the corresponding parties reached consensus on the basic facts surrounding the accident, including the properties of the Sanchi cargo, the identification of the crew, the moment of the collision and the process of the accident, according to the ministry.

The investigation has been based on facts, has been legitimate, objective, fair and transparent, and has offered details on how the accident occurred and suggestions on safety management, the ministry added.

There are still differences over the direct cause of the accident, the report says.

According to the rules of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) on vessel accident investigations, Chinese investigators determined that it was the responsibility of the Sanchi to open space because both vessels were approaching a collision course before the accident and that the fact of that he would not take the necessary action was the direct cause.

China, Iran and Panama Sign Oil Tanker Sanchi Investigation Report

For their part, Iranian and Panamanian investigators blamed a slight change of course of the CF Crystal to be the cause of the accident.

China, which led the investigation, presented the research report to IMO.

This was the first collision and explosion worldwide that involved a ship that contained condensate, an ultralight crude oil.


Source: Spanish Xinhuanet