PortandTerminal.com, September 4, 2020
One dead as firefighters battle blaze aboard loaded oil tanker off the coast of Sri Lanka
The MT New Diamond, a VLCC (Very Large Crude Carrier) oil tanker carrying the equivalent of 2 million barrels of crude oil, is on fire and burning off the coast of Sri Lanka.
The tanker was en route to India and located approximately 38 nautical miles off Sangamankanda Point in eastern Sri Lanka when it sent a distress signal following an explosion and fire in the main engine room.
One Filipino crew member died after a boiler in the main engine room exploded, causing the fire, the Sri Lankan Navy said. All other persons on board, 22 in all, were rescued from the ship.
The vessel is carrying 270,000 metric tons of crude oil from Mina Al Ahmadi, Kuwait to Paradip, India, the Navy reported. There are also 1,700 metric tons of diesel fuel on board. The 20-year-old vessel had been bound from Ahmadi in Kuwait to the Indian port of Paradip, according to Marine Traffic.
The Sri Lanka Navy, Sri Lanka Air Force, Sri Lanka Ports Authority, the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard are all working to put out the fire.
Speaking to CNN, Sri Lankan Navy Captain Indika Desilva said that as of Friday morning local time, the fire was “still on.” Efforts are on to prevent the fire from spreading to the cargo oil. No information has been received of an oil spill yet. Firefighting continues,” he said.
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