Indonesia quake misdirects ship towards TN coast

Indonesia quake misdirects ship towards TN coast

The Indonesian ship, a small luxury cruise with about ten passengers on board, was spotted in the wee hours of Friday by local fishermen in the sea off Kudankulam in Tirunelveli district where Russians are constructing a nuclear power plant, official sources told Deccan Herald. Acting on the fishermen’s alert, police and other authorities swung into action and stopped the apparently misdirected ship some ten nautical miles from the Indian coast, sources said.

Top police officials immediately informed the Coast Guard (CG) and the Navy, even as preliminary investigation showed the passengers on board the Indonesian ship had fallen sick and required some medical assistance.

A Coast Guard ship from Chennai has since proceeded to the spot for further investigation, sources said. “We cannot say anything now till a proper enquiry is made,” a CG official in Chennai told Deccan Herald.

At the same time, there was no cause for any alarm, they added. Authorities at the upcoming nuclear power plant at Kudankulam when contacted over phone said, “The ship is very much away from our waters; it is not connected to Kudankulam. As far as we are concerned, it (construction at the plant site) is absolutely normal.”

PC’s plane returns

A Jet Airways flight carrying Union home minister P Chidambaram, bound for Coimbatore, returned to the airport after a technical snag on Friday.

It is learnt that some 30 minutes later, one of the engines became non-operational. The minister and others later left by another flight at 8.30 am, airport sources told Deccan Herald.