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Second fire on oil tanker off Sri Lankan coast now 'under control'

A Dornier aircraft of the Indian Coast Guard dropped diesel dispersant to minimise potential damage to the marine environment.

Published: 09th September 2020 03:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 09th September 2020 03:00 PM   |  A+A-

ships fighting fire on the MT New Diamond, about 30 nautical miles off the coast of Sri Lanka

Ships fighting fire on the MT New Diamond, about 30 nautical miles off the coast of Sri Lanka. (Photo | AP)

By PTI

COLOMBO: The fresh fire on board a giant oil tanker that went up in flames last week off Sri Lanka's eastern waters while carrying crude oil from Kuwait to India is now under control, the Lankan Navy said on Wednesday.

The Panama-registered oil tanker was carrying nearly 2 million barrels of crude oil from the port of Mina Al Ahmadi in Kuwait to the Indian port of Paradip when it caught fire last Thursday.

A Filipino crew member died and another was injured in the mishap.

"Disaster management teams successfully brought the fire, which reignited aboard MT New Diamond as a result of adverse weather, under control by morning today. There are no flames or smoke to be noticed as of now and the distressed ship is being towed further away towards safe waters by a tug," the Sri Lankan Navy said in a statement.

​ALSO READ | Sri Lankan Navy, Indian ships battling re-ignited fire on board oil tanker

The fire was doused in a joint operation of the Indian and Sri Lankan forces on Sunday.

But a new fire broke out within hours due to extreme heat and strong winds.

After the second fire was brought under control, the tanker was towed away from the site.

"The distressed oil tanker is now about 37 nautical miles off Sangamankanda Point and the disaster management operation is continuing at full steam in rough sea conditions and strong winds," the Navy statement added.

It said a narrow diesel patch, 1 km from the ship, was noticed on Monday evening.

A Dornier aircraft of the Indian Coast Guard dropped diesel dispersant to minimise potential damage to the marine environment.

A local marine research ship has arrived in the waters to assess the situation, the Navy added.

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