Disasters & Accidents

India’s east coast on alert as Portuguese ship spills oil

New Delhi, June 18 (EFE).- The eastern coast of India was on alert on Friday to control an oil spillage from a Portuguese ship, officials said.

The Indian Coast Guard said, in a statement, that the container ship, MV Devon, had already spilled about 10,000 liters of oil from its broken fuel tank.

The coastguard said Maritime Rescue Coordination Center (MRCC) in the neighboring Sri Lankan capital informed it on Wednesday about the mid-sea oil spill some 450 km southeast of Chennai in India.

It said the Portuguese-flagged ship was on passage from Colombo to Haldia in the eastern coastal state of West Bengal.

The ship developed an underwater crack in the fuel tank that contained about 120,000 liters of low sulfur fuel oil.

“The crack resulted in spillage of about 10 kiloliters of oil into the sea before preventive action was taken and remaining oil in tank was transferred to another tank by the ship’s crew,” the Indian Defense Minister said in a statement.

The vessel is carrying 10,795 tonnes of general cargo in 382 containers and manned by 17 crew.

The ship is continuing its voyage to Haldia.

“The Indian Coast Guard is in continuous contact with MV Devon and the master has reported that the vessel is stable,” the statement said.

The statement said the coastguard pollution response team at Chennai was alerted and kept on standby.

“Ships and aircraft deployed at sea are also put on alert in pollution response configuration.”

The incident comes days after a marine disaster due to a cargo vessel that was on fire for two weeks before it sank on June 2 off the Sri Lankan coast in the Indian ocean.

The ship generated potentially toxic slurry waste into the sea, leaving the Sri Lankan authorities with pressing concerns about an oil spill and possible toxic effects on marine life.

Several animal carcasses washed ashore following the disaster due to the Singapore-registered X-Press Pearl vessel carrying 1,500 containers of nitric acid and other toxic chemicals.

The ship was heading from India to the Colombo harbor when it caught fire off Sri Lankan waters. EFE


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