Iranian oil tanker explodes and and sinks off coast of China with no survivors

Yahoo News Photo Staff

A burning Iranian oil tanker exploded and sank Sunday after more than a week listing off the coast of China, as an Iranian official acknowledged there was “no hope” of missing sailors surviving the disaster.

The collision and disaster of the Sanchi, which carried 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis, had transfixed an Iran still reeling from days of protests and unrest that swept the country at the start of the year.

Families of the sailors wept and screamed at the headquarters of the National Iranian Tanker Co. in Tehran, the private company that owns the Sanchi. Some needed to be taken by ambulance to nearby hospitals as they were so overwhelmed by the news.

“Thirty-two people died without a funeral and without coffins! They burned to ashes while their families were wailing here!” cried out one woman who didn’t give her name. The government “has come after 10 days to sympathize with them? What sympathy are you talking about?”

State TV earlier quoted Mahmoud Rastad, the chief of Iran’s maritime agency, as saying: “There is no hope of finding survivors among the (missing) 29 members of the crew.”

President Hassan Rouhani expressed his condolences and called on relevant government agencies to investigate the tragedy and take any necessary legal measures, according to state TV. The government also announced Monday as a nationwide day of public mourning over the disaster. (AP)

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<p>An oil slick is seen on the surface of the East China Sea left by oil leaking from the sunken Iranian tanker ship Sanchi, Jan. 15, 2018. Several oil slicks have been found in waters around a sunken Iranian tanker ship in the East China Sea in a spill that is growing and whose potentially major impact on the marine environment is still being assessed. (Liu Shiping/Xinhua via AP) </p>
Iranian oil tanker explodes and and sinks off coast of China with no survivors

An oil slick is seen on the surface of the East China Sea left by oil leaking from the sunken Iranian tanker ship Sanchi, Jan. 15, 2018. Several oil slicks have been found in waters around a sunken Iranian tanker ship in the East China Sea in a spill that is growing and whose potentially major impact on the marine environment is still being assessed. (Liu Shiping/Xinhua via AP)

<p>Smokes and frames from the burning Iranian oil tanker Sanchi in the East China Sea off the eastern coast of China, Jan. 14, 2018. The fire from the sunken Iranian tanker ship in the East China Sea has burned out, a Chinese transport ministry spokesman said Monday, although concerns remain about possible major pollution to the sea bed and surrounding waters. (Ministry of Transport via AP) </p>
Iranian oil tanker explodes and and sinks off coast of China with no survivors

Smokes and frames from the burning Iranian oil tanker Sanchi in the East China Sea off the eastern coast of China, Jan. 14, 2018. The fire from the sunken Iranian tanker ship in the East China Sea has burned out, a Chinese transport ministry spokesman said Monday, although concerns remain about possible major pollution to the sea bed and surrounding waters. (Ministry of Transport via AP)

<p>Iranian oil tanker Sanchi is seen engulfed in fire in the East China Sea, in this Jan. 13, 2018 picture provided by Shanghai Maritime Search and Rescue Centre and released by China Daily. (Photo: China Daily via Reuters) </p>
Iranian oil tanker explodes and and sinks off coast of China with no survivors

Iranian oil tanker Sanchi is seen engulfed in fire in the East China Sea, in this Jan. 13, 2018 picture provided by Shanghai Maritime Search and Rescue Centre and released by China Daily. (Photo: China Daily via Reuters)

<p>This handout picture from the Transport Ministry of China shows smoke and flames coming from the burning oil tanker Sanchi before it sank (Photo: AFP) </p>
Iranian oil tanker explodes and and sinks off coast of China with no survivors

This handout picture from the Transport Ministry of China shows smoke and flames coming from the burning oil tanker Sanchi before it sank (Photo: AFP)

<p>An unidentified relative of one of the crewmen who were onboard ‘Sanchi’ oil tanker that sunk off the coast of China complains to an official of the government inside the Iranian company in Tehran, Iran, Jan. 14, 2018. (Photo: EFE/EPA/Abedin Taherkenareh) </p>
Iranian oil tanker explodes and and sinks off coast of China with no survivors

An unidentified relative of one of the crewmen who were onboard ‘Sanchi’ oil tanker that sunk off the coast of China complains to an official of the government inside the Iranian company in Tehran, Iran, Jan. 14, 2018. (Photo: EFE/EPA/Abedin Taherkenareh)

<p>A rescue ship works to extinguish the fire on the stricken Iranian oil tanker Sanchi in the East China Sea, on Jan. 10, 2018 in this photo provided by Japan’s 10th Regional Coast Guard. (Photo: 10th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters/Handout via Reuters) </p>
Iranian oil tanker explodes and and sinks off coast of China with no survivors

A rescue ship works to extinguish the fire on the stricken Iranian oil tanker Sanchi in the East China Sea, on Jan. 10, 2018 in this photo provided by Japan’s 10th Regional Coast Guard. (Photo: 10th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters/Handout via Reuters)

<p>A rescue ship works to extinguish the fire on the burning Iranian oil tanker Sanchi in the East China Sea, in this Jan. 12, 2018 picture provided by Shanghai Maritime Search and Rescue Centre and released by China Daily. (Photo: China Daily via Reuters) </p>
Iranian oil tanker explodes and and sinks off coast of China with no survivors

A rescue ship works to extinguish the fire on the burning Iranian oil tanker Sanchi in the East China Sea, in this Jan. 12, 2018 picture provided by Shanghai Maritime Search and Rescue Centre and released by China Daily. (Photo: China Daily via Reuters)

<p>Unidentified relatives of sailors who were onboard ‘Sanchi’ oil tanker that sunk off the coast of China mourn inside the Iranian company in Tehran, Iran, Jan. 14, 2018. (Photo: EFE/EPA/Abedin Taherkenareh) </p>
Iranian oil tanker explodes and and sinks off coast of China with no survivors

Unidentified relatives of sailors who were onboard ‘Sanchi’ oil tanker that sunk off the coast of China mourn inside the Iranian company in Tehran, Iran, Jan. 14, 2018. (Photo: EFE/EPA/Abedin Taherkenareh)

<p>Map showing the approximate spot where the Iranian oil tanker Sanchi sank on Sunday, eight days after a collision with a cargo vessel. (AFP Photo/Dario INGIUSTO) </p>
Iranian oil tanker explodes and and sinks off coast of China with no survivors

Map showing the approximate spot where the Iranian oil tanker Sanchi sank on Sunday, eight days after a collision with a cargo vessel. (AFP Photo/Dario INGIUSTO)

<p>Unidentified relatives of sailors who were onboard ‘Sanchi’ oil tanker that sunk off the coast of China mourn inside the Iranian company in Tehran, Iran, Jan. 14, 2018. (Photo: EFE/EPA/Abedin Taherkenareh) </p>
Iranian oil tanker explodes and and sinks off coast of China with no survivors

Unidentified relatives of sailors who were onboard ‘Sanchi’ oil tanker that sunk off the coast of China mourn inside the Iranian company in Tehran, Iran, Jan. 14, 2018. (Photo: EFE/EPA/Abedin Taherkenareh)

<p>Smoke rises from a fire aboard the oil tanker Sanchi in the East China Sea off the eastern coast of China on Jan. 11, 2018. Rescue ships looking for missing crew members from the oil tanker Sanchi have expanded their search area to more than 2,600 square kilometers (1,000 square miles) as Chinese state television reported Friday that maritime authorities still have not found any survivors, or put out the blaze onboard the ship. (Photo: Ministry of Transport via AP) </p>
Iranian oil tanker explodes and and sinks off coast of China with no survivors

Smoke rises from a fire aboard the oil tanker Sanchi in the East China Sea off the eastern coast of China on Jan. 11, 2018. Rescue ships looking for missing crew members from the oil tanker Sanchi have expanded their search area to more than 2,600 square kilometers (1,000 square miles) as Chinese state television reported Friday that maritime authorities still have not found any survivors, or put out the blaze onboard the ship. (Photo: Ministry of Transport via AP)

<p>Firefighting boats work to put on a blaze on the oil tanker Sanchi in the East China Sea off the eastern coast of China, Jan. 10, 2018. Rescue ships looking for missing crew members from the oil tanker Sanchi have expanded their search area to more than 2,600 square kilometers (1,000 square miles) as Chinese state television reported Friday that maritime authorities still have not found any survivors, or put out the blaze onboard the ship. (Photo: Ministry of Transport via AP) </p>
Iranian oil tanker explodes and and sinks off coast of China with no survivors

Firefighting boats work to put on a blaze on the oil tanker Sanchi in the East China Sea off the eastern coast of China, Jan. 10, 2018. Rescue ships looking for missing crew members from the oil tanker Sanchi have expanded their search area to more than 2,600 square kilometers (1,000 square miles) as Chinese state television reported Friday that maritime authorities still have not found any survivors, or put out the blaze onboard the ship. (Photo: Ministry of Transport via AP)

<p>Handout photo from China’s transport ministry of the burning oil tanker Sanchi. (Photo: China Daily via Reuters) </p>
Iranian oil tanker explodes and and sinks off coast of China with no survivors

Handout photo from China’s transport ministry of the burning oil tanker Sanchi. (Photo: China Daily via Reuters)

<p>Smoke and fire is seen from Panama-registered tanker Sanchi carrying Iranian oil after it collided with a Chinese freight ship in the East China Sea, in this still image taken from a Jan. 7, 2018 video.(Photo: China Daily via Reuters) </p>
Iranian oil tanker explodes and and sinks off coast of China with no survivors

Smoke and fire is seen from Panama-registered tanker Sanchi carrying Iranian oil after it collided with a Chinese freight ship in the East China Sea, in this still image taken from a Jan. 7, 2018 video.(Photo: China Daily via Reuters)

<p>Smoke and fire is seen from Panama-registered tanker Sanchi carrying Iranian oil after it collided with a Chinese freight ship in the East China Sea, in this still image taken from a Jan. 7, 2018 video.(Photo: China Daily via Reuters) </p>
Iranian oil tanker explodes and and sinks off coast of China with no survivors

Smoke and fire is seen from Panama-registered tanker Sanchi carrying Iranian oil after it collided with a Chinese freight ship in the East China Sea, in this still image taken from a Jan. 7, 2018 video.(Photo: China Daily via Reuters)

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