Engulfed in the flames of sorrow
January 14, 2018
Profound grief and pain engulfed
the Iranian nation over the loss of 32 sailors who died aboard an oil
tanker which burst into flames and sunk, eight days after a collision with a
cargo ship off the coast of China.
The Sanchi, carrying 136,000 tons of light
crude oil from Iran, has been in flames since colliding with the CF Crystal on
January 6, a Hong Kong-registered bulk freighter, some 300 kilometers east of
On January 13, Chinese rescuers recovered the
tanker’s “black box”, the transport ministry said without specifying exactly
what had been retrieved.
“There is no possibility of finding the bodies
[of victims],” IRIB quoted Iran’s labor minister Ali Rabiei who is in charge of
a special task force for the incident as saying.
Mohammad Rastad, head of Iran’s Ports and
Maritime Organization said “Despite our efforts, it has not been possible to
extinguish the fire and recover the bodies due to repeated explosions and gas
Parliament speaker Ali Larijani has said that
the parliament’s national security committee should pursue the issue.
President Hassan Rouhani issued a message of
condolence saying that recovering the bodies of missing sailors and easing the
pain and suffering of their families should be the first priority.
Gary Lewis, UN resident coordinator in Iran,
wrote in his Twitter account: “On behalf of the UN Family in Iran, I extend our
sincere condolences to those who lost loved ones in the Sanchi oil tank
tragedy, as well as all Iranians.”