Body found at scene of vessel collision off east China coast

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Rescuers Monday found a body in waters near a collision between two vessels off China's east coast Saturday evening, according to the Ministry of Transport.

The body is believed to be one of the 32 crew members from oil tanker SANCHI, which belongs to an Iranian shipping company and was carrying 136,000 tonnes of condensate oil at the time of the collision, according to the ministry.

"Later, identity check and body transfer will be carried out according to procedures," the ministry said.

The ministry has made all-out efforts to search for the missing and expanded the circle of the search, it said.

As of Monday afternoon, 13 rescue vessels were searching an area of 900 square nautical miles, amid rain and strong wind.

SANCHI caught fire in the collision and was still burning Monday afternoon, the ministry said.

The collision between the Panama-registered oil tanker and a Hong Kong-registered bulk freighter occurred around 8 p.m. Saturday in waters about 160 nautical miles east of the Yangtze River estuary.

The 32 SANCHI missing crew members comprise 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis.

All 21 crew members on the bulk freighter -- all Chinese nationals -- were rescued, according to the ministry.

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