The cause of the deadly collision between the Iranian tanker 'Sanchi' and the Hong Kong-flagged bulk carrier ‘CF Crystal’ off China earlier in 2018 was probably the latter's veering to the right some minutes before the incident, according to investigation conclusions.
The tanker, operated by National Iranian Tanker Co, was sailing from Iran to South Korea, carrying 136,000 tonnes of condensate, when it collided with the ‘CF Crystal’, on 6 January 2018, about 160 nautical miles off the coast, near Shanghai and the mouth of the Yangtze River Delta, and went ablaze. After burning for more than a week, it eventually sank, causing one of the worst oil spills in over 30 years.
The ship was carrying nearly 1 million barrels of ultra-light crude and has created four separate slicks covering a total area of 100 square km (or 39 square miles), which is almost equivalent to the size of Paris.
At the time of the accident, the ship was carrying a total of 32 crew members, all of whom are presumed as dead, with only three bodies recovered so far.
The conclusions from the investigation are so far diverging, according to Reuters citing Iranian state TV. Representatives from China and Hong Kong believe that both ships were equally responsible, but the ones from Iran, Panama and Bangladesh see the Crystal's change of direction as mostly to blame, the Iranian representative on the investigating committee, Nader Pasandeh, was quoted as saying.
The case will probably reach in court, he added.