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MT New Diamond fire extinguished, Sri Lanka Navy says

TANKER ON FIRE – Tugs with firefighting capabilities spray water on to the MT New Diamond

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Navy said a fire on board a MT New Diamond, a very large crude carrier had been extinguished after the disaster was first reported, and authorities were on alert for any recurrence.

“Although the fire has now been completely doused, there is a possibility of a recurrence of the fire due to the high temperature inside the ship and environmental influences,” the Sri Lanka Navy said.

“Therefore, Sri Lanka Navy is on high alert and is ready for any emergency.”

The fire was doused with Sri Lanka Navy, Sri Lanka Air Force, Sri Lanka Coast Guard, the Indian Coast Guard, Indian Navy and privately chartered fire fighting vessels carrying out a joint operation.

The fire was controlled by 1500 hours of September 06, about 79 hours after the distressed vessel reported the fire, the Navy said.

Dry Chemical Powder (DCP) sacks tested by the Sri Lanka Air Force delivered successful results to smother the raging flames onboard.

A team of 10 British and Dutch experts, including salvage operations experts, assessors and a legal adviser arrived in Sri Lanka on Sunday morning.

SMIT International Singapore, appointed by New Shipping Limited the owners of vessel is also sending equipment and experts in crude oil disaster management to MT New Diamond to start the salvage operation, the Sri Lanka Navy said.

The Indian Navy and salvage experts are due to board the distressed vessel and inspect its interior using high-specialist equipment.

The 299,000 dead weight tonne, MT New Diamond was transporting 270,000 metric tons of crude oil from the port of Meena Al Ahmadi in Kuwait to the Port of Paradip in India when a fire broke out aboard in the eastern seas of Sri Lanka on September 02 at around 0800 hours.

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At least one crew member is presumed dead and one injured crew member is being treated in hospital. Another 20 crew are in a Sri Lanka Navy ship.

(Colombo/Sept06/2020)