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Oil tanker MT New Diamond towed away from Sri Lanka, fire reduced

COUNTING THE COST – Sri Lanka is trying to estimate how much the New Diamond crisis cost the nation/SLAF photo

ECONOMYNEXT – Oil tanker MT New Diamond has been towed away from the coast of Sri Lanka and Indian and Sri Lankan vessels and helicopters are continuing to fight the fire which has been reduce, the Indian Ocean island’s Navy said.

India has also stationed two Dornier Aircraft which will be deployed in case of any spill emergency the Indian Coast Guard said.

So far no oil spill had been reported.

“The continuous cooling effect during the disaster relief operation has controlled the fire-spread and approaching of the flames to the crude oil store of MT New Diamond,” the Navy said.

“As a result, there is no risk of an oil spill so far.”

The stricken vessel had been towed 40 nautical miles (74 kilometres) away from Sri Lanka’s coast by the morning of the Saturday, September 05, after drifting close as 20 kilometers to the shore on Friday.

At least one crew member of the MT New Diamond of Philippine nationality is presumed dead and 22 others were rescued.

Sri Lanka Navy brought one injured crew member for medical treatment.

A Sri Lanka’s Maritime Protection Agency official had said the owners of the vessel is sending salvage vessel which is expected to reach the area on Monday.

Sri Lanka Navy, the Air Force and the Indian Coast Guard is continuing to fight the fire.

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Three Sri Lanka Navy capital ships, three Fast Attack Craft, two Sri Lanka Coast Guard Vessels, two tugs of the Hambanthota International Port Group – Wasaba and Rawana, the ALP Winger tug, one TTT One tug with firefighting equipment and professionals have been engaged in the firefighting efforts, the Navy said.

Three Indian Coast Guard vessels, one Indian Navy ship is also involved in the operation.

A Mil Mi 17 helicopter and a Beechcraft fixed wing aircraft of the Sri Lanka Air Force are also assisting.

The 299,000 tonne Panamanian registered Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) was carrying a cargo of 2.4 million tonnes of crude from Kuwait to India when it caught fire.

(Colombo/Sept05/2020)