This handout file picture from the Transport Ministry of China taken and released on January 14, 2018 shows smoke and flames coming from the burning oil tanker "Sanchi" at sea off the coast of eastern China. AFP PHOTO / TRANSPORT MINISTRY OF CHINA
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The fire from a 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.Just three bodies from the tanker Sanchi's crew of 32, composed of 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis, have been recovered.The cause of the Jan. 6 collision between the Sanchi and the Chinese freighter CF Crystal, which happened 257 kilometers east of Shanghai, remains unclear. Rescuers boarded the Sanchi on Saturday morning to recover two bodies, but a large explosion shook the ship around noon on Sunday and it sank within hours. The ship was carrying a type of hydrocarbon liquid known as natural gas condensate and left a 10-square-kilometer area contaminated with oil, according to Chinese authorities. Condensate is highly toxic but readily evaporates or burns off in a fire.
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