Vessel collision off China’s east coast has limited environmental impact: expert

By Yin Han Source:Global Times Published: 2018/1/7 21:38:40

Expert: Oil spill can probably be cleaned up

A collision between an oil tanker and a bulk freighter in the East China Sea might not cause severe pollution, environmental experts said on Sunday.

Iran's Petroleum Ministry on Sunday confirmed that 32 crew members including 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis have gone missing after two vessels collided off China's east coast, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

The collision between a Panama-registered oil tanker and a Hong Kong-registered bulk freighter occurred on Saturday in waters about 160 sea miles east of the Yangtze River estuary, according to Xinhua.

The 274-meter-long oil tanker Sanchi, owned by the National Iranian Shipping Company and with 136,000 tons of condensate oil on board, was traveling from Iran to South Korea. It caught fire after the collision and was still burning, Xinhua reported.

The 225-meter-long bulk freighter CF Crystal carried 64,000 tons of grain and was partly damaged. It is owned by a Chinese shipping company and was traveling from the US to South China's Guangdong.

"Pollution caused by the leak is certain, but compared to the wide watershed of the Yangtze River estuary, the 136,000 tons of oil should not cause too serious a problem," Mu Jianxin, a senior engineer of the China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research's Irrigation and Drainage Department, told the Global Times.

The oil is soluble in water which can actually make it easier to deal with, Mu believed.

"Some physical methods can be used to dissolve or neutralize the oily pollutant," she said.

Newspaper headline: Expert: Oil spill can probably be cleaned up

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