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'No survivors' as burning Iranian oil tanker sinks near Japan

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'No survivors' as burning Iranian oil tanker sinks near Japan

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The burning Iranian oil tanker Sanchi has sunk in Japan's exclusive economic zone, according to Chinese state television. The head of the Iranian rescue team said there were 'no survivors'.

Sanchi had been adrift and on fire since January 6, when it collided with a freight ship in the East China Sea. Thirty Iranians and two Bangladeshis were on board. Three bodies and the black box data recorder were recovered in the days between the collision and the vessel sinking, but scorching flames reaching temperatures of up to 89 degrees Celsius prevented rescuers from venturing into the living quarters of the boat to searrch for further victims.

China Central Television reports Sanchi "suddenly ignited" at around noon local time on Sunday (January 14).

The tanker was carrying close to one million barrels of crude oil to South Korea when it crashed.