An Iranian oil tanker that has been on fire and drifting in the East China Sea since last week has experienced several more explosions, hampering efforts to put out the fire and rescue 31 missing crew members, Chinese state media reported.

Japan's Coast Guard said on January 12 that the ship has drifted away from the Chinese coast near Shanghai, where it caught fire in a collision with a freighter, and is now located in waters within Japan's exclusive economic zone .

The ship, which has been ablaze for almost a week since the collision on January 6, is now about 286 kilometers northwest of the Japanese island of Amami Oshima, part of the Ryukyu chain that includes Okinawa, the coast guard said.

There have been continuous explosions onboard the ship, China's official Xinhua news agency said late on January 12, citing China's Ministry of Transport.

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