An oil spill from an Iranian tanker that exploded and sank off China has spread into four separate slicks covering an area of 100 sq km, Chinese authorities said on Thursday.
The Iranian oil tanker Sanchi was carrying 136,000 tonnes of ultra-light crude oil when it collided with Hong Kong-registered bulk freighter CF Crystal 260 km off Shanghai on January 6. It burned for a week before exploding and sinking on Sunday.
All crew members, 30 from Iran and two from Bangladesh, are presumed dead. Earlier satellite imagery had shown just two oil slicks. Three bodies were later recovered.
But the latest figures from China's State Oceanic Administration, which monitored the area on Wednesday, said there were now four scattered oil slicks, ranging between 5.5 and 48 square km, the BBC reported.
Excessive hydrocarbon levels have been detected in five water samples out of 19 collected by the agency near where the vessel went down.
Currently, the tanker is at a depth of 115 metres (377.3 feet).
Several oil slicks appeared after the vessel sank. The Chinese government has not yet said if they come from the ship's cargo -- refined petroleum condensate -- which is easier to clean or if it is bunker fuel, which is more difficult to eliminate.
A total of 19 boats from different Chinese institutions were in the area for the control and cleanup work while Japan and South Korea also provided maritime resources.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)