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Beijing — The oil slick caused by a stricken Iranian tanker in the East China Sea has spread "noticeably," raising the prospect for wider environmental damage from what could be the worst spill in decades. The fuel from the sunken tanker Sanchi, which was carrying 1-million barrels of condensate, expanded to cover as much as 135km² at 12pm local time on Monday, up from about 10km² the previous day, according to Chinese authorities. A fire, which had been burning off some of the highly flammable type of light oil, had dissipated, the authorities said. The blaze, which started on January 6 after the tanker collided with another ship, had been helping to limit the fall-out. The cargo is four times larger than the heavier crude on the Exxon Valdez spilt off Alaska in 1989, affecting about 2,100km of shoreline and destroying thousands of marine fauna. If all the condensate leaked into the sea instead of burning off, the spill would be one of the biggest from a ship over the past five dec...

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