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The Sanchi Oil Spill

an+oil+spill+off+the+coast+of+Louisiana
an oil spill off the coast of Louisiana

an oil spill off the coast of Louisiana

via Wikimedia Commons

via Wikimedia Commons

an oil spill off the coast of Louisiana

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On January 6th, an Iranian oil tanker, Sanchi, sank off the coast of China after colliding with a cargo ship from Hong Kong. It resulted in a fiery explosion that lasted for a week. At the time of the collision, the cargo ship was carrying close to 150,000 tons of condensate oil, which is now estimated to be covering more than 100 square kilometers of the East China Sea. It has captured the interest of multiple countries surrounding the area.

Condensate oil is a highly toxic liquid that is formed when gas from the Earth’s core rises to the surface. Unlike crude oil, condensate oil is highly flammable and it is fairly difficult to separate from water due to its light color and ability to easily dissolve into water. Therefore, it is challenging for scientists to predict the exact size of the spill, its chemical makeup, and the area it will possibly spread to. However, Chinese scientists believe that there is a small possibility that the wreckage, which is likely to still be leaking, might send pollutants to as far as the coast of North America.

This wreckage claimed the lives of all 32 crew members, with only three bodies that have been found so far. However, Iranian officials have stated that there is no hope in searching for the remaining 29 bodies which has stirred much grief and anger among family, friends, and colleagues.

The oil tanker spill will also have a lasting impact on the environment, possibly for decades. The spill is covering an area that is considered as one of the richest fishing places in China and the fire and fumes have most certainly killed animals near the region at the time of the explosion. It has also exposed the marine environment due to the toxicity of the condensate oil, which will result in high risks to all marine animals, especially sword tip squids, bluefin leatherjacket, crabs, and mackerel. This has lead to many environmentalists warning consumers in Japan, China, and South Korea of seafood contamination. They are advising people to be wary of purchasing any seafood until the toxic impact of the oil spill has been further evaluated.

The Sanchi oil spill is proving itself to become one that will create a lasting impact on the environment. It has frustrated scientists and put the life of marine animals at risk. This environmental disaster will be challenging to get rid of, but scientists are relying on the possibility that the impact might not be as big as they have been predicting all along. Hopefully, experts will soon be able to find accurate calculations of the oil spill and bring results of less severe effects than what everyone has been fearing all along.

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The Sanchi Oil Spill