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MEPA specialists aboard New Diamond tanker to collect fuel samples

A small fleet of Indian and Sri Lankan Naval and Coastguard vessels are husbanding the stricken Supertanker MT New Diamond as tugs continue to spray water. The Sri Lanka Airforce was deployed to drop retardants into the fire as well

ECONOMYNEXT – A team of specialists from the Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) was deployed this morning to collect all fuel samples aboard the MT New Diamond, Deputy General Manager of MEPA Jagath Gunasekara said.

Gunasekara told EconomyNext a short while ago that the team might have collected all the samples by now as they took off to the ship from Trincomalee between 2 and 3am this morning.

Meanwhile, Navy Media Spokesman Captain Indika De Silva told EconomyNext that the MEPA team had safely boarded the ship this morning.

A meeting is scheduled with the Attorney General and all agencies involved in the firefighting process to discuss future actions to be taken about the stricken supertanker, he added.

Meanwhile, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) recorded statements from the captain of the MT New Diamond oil tanker on Saturday. Police Media Spokesman SSP Jaliya Senaratne told reporters that a statement from the captain was recorded by the CID at a quarantine centre in Galle last Saturday (12).

The Colombo Chief Magistrate previously ordered the CID to record statements from the 23 crew members including the captain.

The MT New Diamond is currently anchored 52 nautical miles East of Sangamankanda in eastern Sri Lanka. (Colombo/Sept14/2020)

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