Colombo, Sep 8 (PTI) Ships and aircraft from Sri Lanka and India on Tuesday battled to contain a re-ignited fire on board a giant oil tanker that went up in flames last week off Sri Lanka's eastern waters while carrying crude oil from Kuwait to India.
The Sri Lankan Navy in a statement said the re-ignited fire on board the Panama-registered tanker MT New Diamond, carrying nearly 2 million barrels of crude oil, has been curbed to an extent.
The fire on board MT New Diamond, which killed one Filipino crew member and injured another, was extinguished completely on Sunday but a new fire broke out due to extreme heat, the Navy said.
“There is no risk of the fire spreading to the oil storage or leaking oil from the ship into the sea as of now,” the statement said.
Ships, aircraft and tugs belonging to the Sri Lanka Navy, Sri Lanka Air Force, Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard and other stakeholders are continuing their disaster management operations to suppress the fire caused by adverse weather, the Navy added.
The Navy said that at least 11 disaster management professionals, directed to the island by the company that acts as the commercial and technical operator of New Diamond, have arrived at the location where the tanker is located to support disaster management operations.
At least nine ships, five tugs and aircraft are working in the disaster management operation about 30 nautical miles off Sangamankanda off the east coast of Ampara.
A research team from the National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA), Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) and University of Ruhuna departed this morning from the port of Hambantota to visit the site to inspect water samples, to find out if any damage to the marine environment due to this disaster.
The tanker which caught fire last Thursday was transporting crude oil from the port of Mina Al Ahmadi in Kuwait to the Indian port of Paradip, where the Indian Oil Corp. has a refinery. PTI CORR PMS PMS