Oil spill at Mangaluru, spread checked

Oil spill at Mangaluru, spread checked

Container ship, MV X- press Brahmaputra, re-berthed at Berth number 2 after an oil spill in New Mangalore Port on Saturday.

A major disaster was averted as officials succeeded in containing an oil spill released by container ship MV X-press Brahmaputra, which collided with a bollard while sailing out of Jetty No 2 at the New Mangalore Port on Saturday.

Sources in the New Mangalore Port Trust (NMPT) said that due to the collision, the port side hull was damaged. “As it is highly risky to sail with the starboard side tank damaged, the container ship was re-berthed at berth number 2,” sources told DH.

The accident took place around 7 am and soon, the damaged container ship began releasing oil (diesel).

“Within four hours, using buoyant booms (which are inflatable tubes) and skimmers, the oil leak was checked. As diesel is a non-persistent oil (which evaporates quickly), it was easy to contain the spread of the oil spill,’’ district disaster professional Vijay Kumar Pujar told DH when contacted.

The container ship (built in 1998) sailing under a Singapore flag had arrived from Colombo. Officials, however, had failed to follow the standard operating procedure for the oil spill response.

In violation of the protocol, the district disaster professional got to know about the oil spill from mediapersons. Incidentally, a mock drill using saw dust as an oil spill was conducted at the port a month ago.

Later in the evening, NMPT officials held a meeting to take necessary precautions to prevent such accidents.