Cargo ship tilts perilously after oil spill

Coast Guard pressed into service

Cargo ship tilts perilously after oil spill

An FIR was also registered against the crew members of MSC Chitra—from which oil was spilling—and MV Khaleejia-III, a day after the two vessels had collided resulting in huge oil spill, the police said. Both are Panamanian cargo ships.

Meanwhile, six Coast Guard vessels and a helicopter with anti-pollution dispersal spray systems were pressed into service on Sunday to contain the oil spill. This has led to temporary closure of the port.

The Coast Guard is yet to locate the leak as some portions of the outbound merchant vessel MSC Chitra, which was damaged in the collision, submerged later. The oil spill is estimated to be around 15 tonnes.

Maritime traffic in the vicinity of the collision was regulated as MSC Chitra which was grounded after the collision has started capsizing with over 200 of its total cargo of 1,200 containers of fuel having fallen into the sea. The Directorate General of Shipping has initiated an investigation into the incident, Directorate General of Shipping’s Chief Nautical Advisor M M Savvi said.

Deputy police commissioner Khaled Qaiser said an FIR has been registered against captains and crew members of both the cargo ships under relevant sections of IPC and Environment Protection Act.

Following a complaint by coast guard about the matter, the FIR was registered at Yellow Gate police station, he said. The ship has 2,662 tonnes of fuel, 283 tonnes of diesel and 88 tonnes lube oil. Fishing associations have been requested not to carry out any activities till the oil spill is contained.

MSC Chitra, the outbound merchant vessel from Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, collided with the  MV Khalijia III, five nautical miles from the shore at 9:50 am when the latter was sailing towards Mumbai Port Trust, off Mumbai harbour, for berthing.
Although shipping officials did not rule out the possibility of the vessel sinking, a top official said there is “less possibility” that it will sink.

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