(Persia Digest) – Some of the families of the Sanchi tanker crew which sank in Chinese waters a year ago after collision with a Chinese cargo ship say they have been contacted 21 times from the day of the tragedy until now. The calls to their homes are from the Pacific Ocean area, but Iranian authorities say all 32 crew lost their lives in the fire which engulfed the tanker.

Uncertainty about the faith of the Sanchi tanker and its crew has been a mystery for months, augmenting the pain of families who have not heard from their children, spouses, brothers…for months. They say they have received no answer from the authorities to date and the situation has turned into a security issue.

Abdollah Adollahi, the father of Sajjad Abdollahi who was a student apprentice on the Sanchi tanker, has not yet accepted the death of his son, and says: “My son left the ship before the explosion and he is still alive.”

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He has four reasons for his claim: “Firstly, we heard the captain’s voice in the black box who was saying they can’t put out the fire and orders the crew to ready the lifeboats. Then, he says ‘go, go’ in English. Secondly, a photo shows that the lifeboat lever on the starboard is down, indicating that the boat was in the water. Experts say the heat moved the lever downwards and burnt the lifeboat. If we are to accept this, the lever should have been totally burnt rather than just moved. Thirdly, the Chinese boarded the ship and searched it, including the captain’s cabin. They only found the bodies of two crew members.”

Abdollahi cites his fourth reason by saying: “From April 2018 until a month ago, numerous contacts were made with the families of 13 Sanchi crew members. We informed the authorities, and they said this was the work of saboteurs. How were they able to find the phone numbers of this many families? When one of the mothers answers the phone, a voice on the other side says in Persian “We are alive”. She was so shocked that she was unable to figure out whether this was her son’s voice or not. We don’t know who is contacting us, but our investigations are ongoing. I don’t know how to justify the fact that a person in the Pacific Ocean region has my home number!”

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Tragedy in the China Sea (photos)

Persia Digest reports that on Saturday 6 January 2018, the Chinese cargo ship “Crystal” collided with the Sanchi tanker in the East China Sea. Sanchi exploded and all 30 Iranian and two Bangladeshi crew members sank with the tanker, leading to these mysterious events.

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