189 cargo containers missing after Mumbai ship collision

The containers, including a few containing hazardous material, fell off the Panamanian ship, MSC Chitra, after its collision with a St. Kitts vessel, MV Khalijia-III, near the entrance of Mumbai harbour Aug 7, said MSC Agency (India) Private Limited CEO Captain Deepak Tiwari.

"According to our calculations, 189 containers are unaccounted for so far. These have fallen (in the Arabian Sea) and are perhaps in the vicinity of the vessel," he told mediapersons Thursday afternoon.

Out of the missing containers, nine contained hazardous materials. Six of these nine containers carried caustic soda which is soluble in water, he said.

One container contained organophosphorous pesticide while another contained phosphene, which is used for fumigating or debugging of grains, he said.

Tiwari said that these materials were stored in airtight metal flasks which float. Some of the floating flasks have even been recovered, he said.

When asked about the extent of oil spill in the Mumbai harbour and the surrounding areas, Tiwari estimated it could be in the range of 100-400 tonnes.

"The extent of oil spillage would be known only when all the containers from the deck are removed and the salvors manage to reach the hold. The ship carried 3,300 tonnes of oil - which included diesel, fuel oil and lubes," he pointed out.

He added that the starboard (right) side of the ship is intact and there is no damage to the tanks located there as the MV Khalijia-III hit the MSC Chitra on the port (left) side.
Tiwari said the company has spent nearly $10 million so far in salvage and cleaning up operations after the collision.

The company also paid around $216,000 to the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board for the cleaning up operation.

Tiwari said priority was being given to cleaning up operation near Elephanta Island, a world heritage cave temple site, around 16 km in the Arabian Sea from Mumbai's Gateway of India.

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily
Comments (+)