Picture:
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Associated Press/Google Maps

The Iranian tanker Sanchi was transporting 136,000 tons of condensate - an ultra-light crude oil - from Iran to South Korea when it struck a Hong Kong-registered bulk freighter in the East China Sea on the evening of Saturday 6 January.

But after being ablaze for days, a part of the ship exploded on Wednesday, forcing rescue crews searching for 31 missing sailors to retreat.

The damage to the tanker from the incident and the cause of the collision are not yet clear but the condensate on board is highly flammable, Chinese authorities said.

They also warned on Monday that the vessel could explode.

Picture:Picture: ASSOCIATED PRESS/KOREA COAST GUARD

Where is the tanker now?

Since the incident, the tanker has been drifting in waters between Shanghai and Japan.

Picture:The approximate location of the tanker according to BBC. (Picture: Google Maps)

Is there risk of an oil slick?

Al Jazeera said that oil spilling remains a big concern with authorities but that the main priorities lie with finding the missing crew.

Reporting from Beijing, Al Jazeera's Rob McBride, spoke of the oil-slick concerns.

He said:

There have been reports of oil in the water.

The East China Sea is shared by China, South Korea and also some of the southern islands of Japan.

There will be a lot of concern in all of those countries about any developing slick and which direction it may be heading.

However, China's transport ministry said that experts believed no more than one per cent of the condensate aboard the ship was on the surface of the sea.

How many people are hurt?

One body was recovered earlier in the week, The Independent reports.

Of the 31 members of missing crew, 30 are Iranian and one is Bangladeshi.

The BBC reports that twenty-one Chinese nationals were saved.

HT Al Jazeera

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