Efforts on to pump out fuel oil from cargo vessel at Kavaratti

"The ship has about 20 KL of fuel oil for its use and efforts are on to pump it ashore to prevent any spillage into the sea. There is no leakage so far and the fuel oil is being removed as a precautionary measure," Director Ports of Lakshadweep, Syed Ismail, told PTI. The 12 crew members are safe, he said, adding there was some engine problem and bad weather compounded to the difficulties.

The vessel is in safe place and there was no cause for any concern. When the weather improves, it will be towed to safer place, Ismail said. Naval and Coastguard personnel are making all efforts to pump out the fuel oil. The vessel, belonging to a Mumbai-based company, was carrying construction materials like cement of the PWD department from Agatti to Kavaratti when it ran aground at around seven pm on August 15 near Kavaratti following bad weather conditions.

The incident comes in the wake of the collision of two Panamanian cargo ships -- MSC Chitra and MV Khalijia-111 -- on August 7 off the Mumbai coast causing an oil spill from one of the vessels. Thirty-three crew members, including two Pakistanis, were rescued following the incident.

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