Sri Lanka oil tanker: Fire doused but efforts to plug fuel leak continue

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Sep 11, 2020, 04:21 PM(IST)

Sri Lanka oil tanker fire Photograph:( Twitter )

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There are no report of the fuel trail being dangerous to the extent that it may lead to a catastrophe. But it is indeed necessary that the leaking fuel tanker be fixed so that chances of any untoward incident are eliminated.

The fire on MT New Diamond oil supertanker has been doused. But the race is now on to plug the fuel leak. Salvors are still taking quick measures to plug breach in one of the fuel tankers. The leaking fuel has left two trails on the sea. MT New Diamond is currently 83 km away from the Sri Lankan coast in the Indian Ocean.

There are no report of the fuel trail being dangerous to the extent that it may lead to a catastrophe. But it is indeed necessary that the leaking fuel tanker be fixed so that chances of any untoward incident are eliminated.

“Salvage operations are continuing. The engine room has been de-smoked. They have identified the bunker oil tank that is leaking. The next step is to empty it and then to repair the leak,” said Indika De Silva, Spokesperson of Sri Lankan Navy. He was quoted by Reuters. He further said that oil cargo the ship was carrying was intact.

Authorities want to avoid damage to the coast line like that suffered by Mauritius after the Japanese bulk carrier MV Wakashio struck a coral reef off the Indian Ocean island on July 25 and began spilling oil on Aug. 6.

Also Read | Indian Coast Guard rescues 9 fishermen, boat drifts in Sri Lankan waters

MT New Diamond is a Greek-owned ship that was chartered by Indian Oil. It was hauling crude oil from Kuwait to Paradip in Odisha. The fire at the ship started because of a blast in the ship's engine room on September 3. Joint efforts by Indian and Sri Lankan Navy brought the fire under control but it reignited on September 7. Firefighting efforts ensured that the fire was completely doused on September 9.

Sri Lanka’s Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) has said it plans to take action against the ship’s owner under the country’s laws to protect the marine ecosystem.

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