New Delhi, September 5: At least 22 people have been rescued from MT New Diamond, the Sri Lankan oil tanker that caught fire after an explosion on Thursday. The Indian Coast Guard informed that 22 out of 23 crew were rescued on from the oil tanker off the east of Sri Lankan coast. The crude oil carrier was towed from Sri Lanka coast to safe waters successfully. The rescue mission was being jointly conducted by Search and Rescue (SAR) operation, ICG ships, and Sri Lankan Navy, while two emergency towing vessels were deployed by India.
"#ICG & Sri Lankan ships and aircraft alongwith tug ALP Winger after consolidated efforts successfully towed #MTNewDiamond more than 35 NM away from #SriLanka coast to safe waters. #FireFighting continues and fire now reduced. No oil slick reported," ICG tweeted earlier this morning.
WATCH: On-scene commander INS Sahyadri escorting Sri Lankan oil tanker, MT New Diamond:
22 persons have been rescued from Sri Lankan oil tanker, MT New Diamond. 1 person is missing. The fire has been contained, it will be soon brought under control: Indian Coast Guard pic.twitter.com/TwEe73AYq5
— ANI (@ANI) September 5, 2020
Here are the tweets:
Joint team connected tow with Tug Alp Winger & towing of Sri Lankan oil tanker 'MT New Diamond' commenced. Heavy smoke still observed onboard: Spokesperson of the Indian Navy https://t.co/0IHmyjmnZm pic.twitter.com/z0raZNT92a
— ANI (@ANI) September 4, 2020
Here's the tweet by Indian Coast Guard:
#SavingLives #SAR #FireFighting assistance sought by Sri Lanka Navy from @IndiaCoastGuard for fire and explosion onboard Oil Tanker #MTNewDiamond 37 NM east off #Srilanka coast. #ICG ships and aircraft deployed for immediate assistance @DefenceMinIndia @MEAIndia pic.twitter.com/OsvgyZfKq0
— Indian Coast Guard (@IndiaCoastGuard) September 3, 2020
The fire fighting operations continued for second day on Saturday on the blazing very large crude carrier (VLSS) New Diamond chartered by Indian Oil Corporation (IOC). According to Coast Guard, the fire in the oil tankers crew accommodation area has been successfully doused. The Coast Guard on Thursday said it had diverted three of its ships -- Shaurya, Sarang, Samudra Paheredar and a Dornier aircraft for firefighting operations.
According to reports, the oil tanker caught fire on Thursday, 37 nautical miles off the Sri Lankan coast. The 20-year-old VLCC 'New Diamond' sailing under the Panama flag departed from Mina Al Ahmadi on August 23 and was heading to Paradip port in India. The oil tanker was expected to reach Paradip in Odisha on September 5 where IOC has a large refinery. Reports inform that the Panama registered tanker New Diamond was carrying 2,70,000 tonnes of crude oil from Kuwait to India when its engine room caught fire off the coast of Sangamankanda in the eastern district of Ampara.