China, Iran, Panama Sign Probe Re­port on Sanchi

Iran News - - FRONT PAGE -

BEI­JING (Xin­hua) -- China, Iran and Panama have signed an in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­port on the sink­ing of the Ira­nian oil tanker Sanchi, ac­cord­ing to the Min­istry of Trans­port.

On Jan. 6, the Panama-reg­is­tered oil tanker Sanchi, car­ry­ing 136,000 tons of light crude oil from Iran, col­lided with the CF Crys­tal, a Hong Kong-reg­is­tered bulk freighter, about 300 kilo­me­ters east of the Yangtze es­tu­ary.

Af­ter the col­li­sion, Chi­nese per­son­nel risked their lives to res­cue the crew aboard the Sanchi and put out the fire on the tanker. The ac­ci­dent left three crew mem­bers dead and 29 miss­ing from the Sanchi, while se­verely dam­ag­ing the Hong Kong ship.

Af­ter months of scru­tiny by a three-coun­try joint in­ves­ti­ga­tion group, re­lated par­ties have reached con­sen­sus on the ba­sic facts around the ac­ci­dent, in­clud­ing the prop­er­ties of Sanchi’s cargo, iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of the crew, time of the col­li­sion and process of the ac­ci­dent, ac­cord­ing to the min­istry.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion has been fact-based, le­git­i­mate, ob­jec­tive, fair and trans­par­ent, of­fer­ing de­tails on how the ac­ci­dent hap­pened and sug­ges­tions on safety man­age­ment, the min­istry said.

Dif­fer­ences re­main con­cern­ing the di­rect cause of the ac­ci­dent, ac­cord­ing to the re­port.

In line with the rules on ves­sel ac­ci­dent in­ves­ti­ga­tions by the In­ter­na­tional Mar­itime Or­ga­ni­za­tion (IMO), Chi­nese in­ves­ti­ga­tors found the onus was on Sanchi to make way as both ves­sels were clos­ing in on a col­li­sion course be­fore the ac­ci­dent, and the fact it failed to take the needed ac­tion was the di­rect cause.

Ira­nian and Pana­ma­nian in­ves­ti­ga­tors blamed a slight course change by the CF Crys­tal for caus­ing the ac­ci­dent.

China, which led the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, has sub­mit­ted the in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­port to the IMO. It was the world’s first col­li­sion and ex­plo­sion in­volv­ing a ves­sel car­ry­ing con­den­sate, an ultra-light crude oil.

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