New Delhi: A team of experts from Singapore joined efforts of the Indian Coast Guard to salvage a leaking oil tanker that went up in flames in Sri Lanka’s eastern waters on September 3. Firefighters have been able to douse the fire but the oil spillage is yet to be brought under control. Also Read - Lankan Navy, Indian Ships Battling Re-ignited Fire on Board Oil Tanker
Earlier today, the Indian Coast Guard launched a fire fighting and pollution response operation for the Panama-registered tanker MT New Diamond off Sri Lanka. Specialised ICG pollution Response ship Samudra Paheredar arrived at the scene of incident today and joined fire fighting operation, officials said. Also Read - Oil Tanker Carrying Crude From Kuwait to India Catches Fire Off Sri Lanka
The ship is equipped with Ocean Boom, 4 Oil Skimmers and Oil Spill Dispersant to handle pollution response in event of an oil slick, ICG officials added. Also Read - Elephant Living in Chains for 30 Years in a Pakistani Zoo Set to be Free, Finds New Home In Cambodian Sanctuary
The ship was carrying 270,000 metric tonnes of crude oil from Kuwait to India. Some 5 ships of Indian coast guard and one Indian Navy ship have been engaged in fire fighting.
Earlier on Friday, the Sri Lanka Navy confirmed that a Filipino sailor had died in the boiler explosion in the engine room of the ship.
The Sri Lanka Navy said the commercial owners of the tanker had appointed an international Singapore-based company as its salvage expert. Two more large tugboats that can handle crude oil tankers had already left Singapore and Mauritius to join the salvage operations of the oil tanker.
The tanker had 23 crew members – 18 Filipinos and five Greeks – of which 22 crew members were safely rescued off the tanker.