30 Iranians and 2 Bengalese are missing after the collision of two vessels, a Panama-registered oil tanker and a Hong Kong freighter, in China’s eastern coast, reported the Chinese Ministry of Transport.
The collision occurred on Saturday at 8 pm local time in China’s eastern coast, 160 miles (257 kilometers) east of the Yangtze River’s estuary, framed by the Chinese city of Shanghai and the Jiangsu (south) and Zhejiang (north) provinces, according to the official Chinese news agency Xinhua.
The 32 missing are members of the crew of the Iranian Panama-registered oil tanker Sanchi, while all 21 Chinese crew on board the Hong-Kong registered freighter, the CF Crystal, were rescued.
After the collision a fire broke out in the tanker and was on for hours.
The Ministry noted that oil spilled into the sea, but did not specify the area of contamination.
Chinese maritime authorities have sent eight search and rescue boats to the area, while South Korea dispatched a coastguard ship and a fixed-wing aircraft to support the search and rescue effort.
The oil tanker Sanchi, owned by an Iranian shipping company, was 274 meters long and was carrying 136,000 tons of refined oil from Iran to South Korea.
The freighter, owned by a company based in Zhejiang province, was 225 meters and was carrying 64,000 tons of grain from the United States to the Guangdong Province of China.