Firefighting resumes on burning tanker

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Thirteen search-and-rescue vessels are continuing to look for missing crew members within 900 square nautical miles of the tanker, the ministry said.

The tanker was carrying 136,000 tonnes of condensate, a highly flammable ultra-light crude, to South Korea, but it's unlikely the spill will reach the country's shores.

The Sanchi was carrying almost one million barrels of condensate - a type of gassy, ultra-light oil - when it collided on Saturday evening with a freighter 160 miles from Shanghai and caught fire.

Intense flames, bad weather and poor visibility have hampered rescue efforts in the following days.

The ship, which has been burning for nearly a week since it collided with another vessel on Saturday night, was about 300 kilometers (186 miles) northwest of Amami Oshima island as of Thursday afternoon, a coast guard spokesman said.

The Chinese government said late on Tuesday it had not found a "large-scale" oil leak, and the condensate was burning off or evaporating so quickly that it would leave little residue - less than 1 percent - within five hours of a spill.

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He said that Chinese authorities turned down an offer from the Japanese Coast Guard to help, saying it would ask for help when needed.

The tanker, run by Iran's top oil shipping operator National Iranian Tanker, hit the CF Crystal vessel that was carrying grain from the United States last Saturday.

Since then, the Panama-registered tanker Sanchi has been ablaze and drifting in the waters between Shanghai and southern Japan. Despite much rescue efforts, the oil tanker is on fire and is feared to be on the verge of explosion.

Search and rescue teams from the South Korean Coast Guard have been forced to stay as far as three miles away from the ferocious blaze.

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"It's the stuff that spills and gets on birds". In 2106, the catch from the East China Sea was 5.18 million tonnes, making it China's largest fishing ground.

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