ECONOMYNEXT – Fresh flames have risen in the funnel section of the MT New Diamond Supertanker and firefighters are battling the fire using foam to contain the blaze, the Sri Lanka Navy said.
Captain Indika de Silva, the Navy Spokesman told EconomyNext that all day tugs had been spraying water on the ship to keep the metal cool, but high winds had ignited the flames once again.
“It looks like an oil fire but is coming from the funnel area and behind the funnel,” he said.
De Silva confirmed that the fire had not reached the crude oil tanks which are holding a quarter of a million tonnes of oil.
Several tugboats surrounding the Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) are keeping it approximately 30 Nautical Miles which is around 58 km east of Sangaman point, Sri Lanka’s easternmost place which is in the Ampara district.
The Supertanker which has more than a quarter of a million tonnes of crude oil on board is adrift and has to be held in position by tugboats.
Salvage operations are expected to begin shortly, but “the ship will be allowed to be moved out of Sri Lankan waters only with our permission,” de Silva said. (Colombo, September 7, 2020)
Reported by Arjuna Ranawana