Fire on oil tanker off Sri Lanka's coast under control, ship towed away
New Delhi : A fire on a large oil tanker off the Sri Lanka's coast has been brought under control but it is yet to extinguished completely, the navy said on Saturday.
Four tug boats, three Sri Lankan navy ships and four Indian ships have been battling the fire the MT New Diamond since Thursday.
The tanker, carrying nearly 2 million barrels of crude oil, was drifting about 20 nautical miles (37 kilometers) from Sri Lanka’s eastern coast and on Friday evening a tug boat towed it to the deep sea away from land, said navy spokesman Capt. Indika de Silva.
One of the crew members has reportedly died in the incident and one has been seriously injured. Both are Filipino.
The fire began in an engine room boiler but had not spread to the tanker’s oil storage area and no leak has been reported, the navy said. Sri Lankan officials have warned of possible massive environmental damage to Sri Lanka’ if the ship leaks or explodes.
The tanker had 23 crew members — 18 Filipinos and five Greeks. Twenty-one crew left the tanker uninjured as the fire burned.
The tanker was transporting crude oil from the port of Mina Al Ahmadi in Kuwait to the Indian port of Paradip, where the state-owned Indian Oil Corp. has a refinery.