The Panama-registered Iranian oil tanker, Sanchi, with 32 crew members on board including 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis, caught on fire after colliding with a Hong Kong cargo ship on Jan. 6, 160 nautical miles (296 km) from China’s east coast near Shanghai, MNA reported.
In his message on Monday, Shamkhani offered his condolences to the bereaved families of the sailors who were pronounced dead after massive explosions on the tanker and the complete sinking of the vessel on Sunday. Shamkhani commended the sailors for their courage and tremendous efforts toward the development of the country and the welfare of the Iranian nation.
The security chief also expressed his gratitude to those involved in the search and rescue operations.
Iranian Minister of Cooperatives, Labor and Social Welfare Ali Rabiei is currently in China as the head of an ad hoc committee tasked with following up on the case and investigating the cause of the collision.
President Hassan Rouhani has called on concerned Iranian officials to prioritize the identification of the bodies of the victims and to alleviate the agony of their bereaved families.