CHENNAI: The oil spill supposedly from two ships that collided near the Ennore Port, north of Chennai, on Saturday, spread along the city's shoreline further down up to the famed Marina Beach. On Monday morning, the local fishermen and the morning walkers were shocked to find not just thick black oil along the beach, but a number of turtles that were washed ashore dead.
The accidental collision of two oil tanker ships took place in the wee hours of Saturday near the Ennore Port. The effects could be noticed only on Sunday when a large quantum of thick and dark oil was washed ashore near Ernavur. While the Coast Guard was carrying out the operations to remove the oil, on Sunday morning it had spread further down till Marina Beach.
The fishermen in the hamlets around Marina are also worried about going into the sea fearing that the oil could cause skin problems. Only a handful of boats could be seen at Marina today (Monday) as fishermen found themselves incapable of taking their boats out into the thick oil deposits in the sea.
Even early morning walkers and visitors at Marina complained of irritation on their feet after they stepped on the oil. Besides the turtles that were found dead near Ernavur on Saturday, a few more turtles were washed ashore dead near Marina Beach on Sunday causing apprehensions about the extent of ecological damage the incident could cause.
Environmental experts said the spill could have a long lasting impact on marine life, even to the extent of causing irreparable damage. Fisherfolk were already complaining on Sunday about finding a lot of dead fish in the sea and being unable to go fishing but the situation turned grave on Monday.
Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) officials and the Coast Guard reached the spot and investigation is under progress. The collision took place near the Ennore port between BW Maple, Isle of Man flagship (an LPG vessel) and Indian vessel MT Kancheepuram. The Coast Guard already issued notice to the ship MT Kancheepuram.
While earlier, both the Coast Guard and the TNPCB officials had expressed hope that the spill could be contained by Monday, the thick black oil now seems to have spread further.