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By Andy Rowell

The Sanchi oil spill in the East China Sea could potentially be one of the worst tanker spills in decades, experts are warning, even though the spill has now largely disappeared from news reports.

Work by scientists from the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) and the University of Southampton, who have plotted where the condensate ends up, believe that the spill could even reach Japan within a month. In doing so, it could severely impact locally important reefs, fishing grounds and protected marine areas.

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Experts have expressed concern about the potential environmental aftermath of a stricken Iranian oil tanker that exploded and sank in the East China Sea on Sunday.

The Sanchi—carrying 150,000 tons, or nearly 1 million barrels, of condensate oil—collided with the CF Crystal on Jan 6. The tanker caught fire and burned for more than a week before sinking. Iranian officials said all 32 crew members on the tanker were killed.

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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

The oil tanker that set fire after colliding with a freight ship off the east coast of China may explode and sink, possibly putting the environment and human health at risk, experts warned.

The Iranian tanker was carrying 150,000 tons, or nearly 1 million barrels, of condensate crude oil when it collided with the CF Crystal on Saturday. Condensate is an ultra-light hydrocarbon that is highly toxic and much more explosive than regular crude oil.

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