Sanchi Leaves Two Oil Slicks

Sanchi Leaves Two Oil SlicksSanchi Leaves Two Oil Slicks

The Iranian oil tanker that sank in the East China Sea has left two oil slicks covering a combined 109 square kilometers, the Chinese government said late Tuesday, as maritime police scour for damage and prepare to explore the wreck.

Satellite imaging showed a slick spread over 69 square km and a second spanning 40 square km, which is less thick and not as concentrated, the State Oceanic Administration said in a statement, Reuters reported.

The tanker Sanchi, which was carrying almost 1 million barrels of condensate—an ultra-light, highly flammable crude oil, had been adrift and ablaze after crashing into the freighter on Jan. 6. The ship sank on Sunday after several explosions weakened the hull, raising worries about damage to the marine ecosystem.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Chinese Ministry of Transport said the salvage team had located the wreck, which was at a depth of 115 meters, and were preparing to send underwater robots to explore it.

The SOA said vessels have taken 31 water samples in the area around the wreck containing black grease with heavy oil smells, and a concentration of petroleum that exceeds some seawater quality standard limits.

Cleanup teams continue to monitor the wreck area to assess the distribution and drift of the oil spill and the ecological impact.

On Tuesday, Japan’s environment ministry said it does not see much chance that the spill will reach its shores.


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