Japanese rescue team rushes to help burning Iranian oil tanker

According to Mikrofonnews agency (MHA), Iran says the first Japanese firefighting ship has reached off China coast on Thursday, where an Iranian oil tanker had collided with a cargo ship on Saturday.

Muhsen Qashqawi, deputy minister of the foreign ministry said on Thursday Japanese team has started firefighting operation, adding that Iran is ready to send search and rescue teams to the scene in order to speed up the rescue operation.

Chinese Transport Ministry said on Wednesday Chinese rescue teams forced to retreated following an explosion in the Iranian oil. Iran had also confirmed that firefighting operation has been stopped in the area, while the tanker is burning for the 5th onsecutive day.

Iranian oil tanker with 32 crew members, two of them from Bangladesh, on board collided with a cargo ship on Saturday.Tens of firefighters and rescue teams were struggling to control the blaze in the past three days, but dark smoke, intense winds and high waves in the area had hampered the efforts, according to the Chinese Transport Ministry.

31 crew of the oil tanker, two of them from Bangladesh, are missing, while the body of an Iranian crew was found on Monday. Families of the Iranian oil tanker crew members in Iran ask the government to send them to China.

21 Chinese crews of the cargo ship was rescued hours after the incident happened. Large amount of oil is spilling from the tanker increasing fears of a possible environmental disaster.

The oil tanker was carrying 136,000 tons of condensate, that is equivalent to just under 1 million barrels, worth about $60 million, based on global crude oil prices, Reuters reports.