Kochi, Dec 22 (UNI) A major disaster was averted by alert personnel of the Cochin Port Fire Services when they spotted a fire inside the engine room of a ship carrying 32,000 tonnes of crude oil, berthed at the Cochin Oil Terminal of the Port, early this morning.
A major fire broke out in the engine room of M T Piru Singh at about 0330 hrs.
An alert fireman E C Siju, who noticed the smoke emanating from the engine room, immediately alerted the ship crew as well as the Port Fire Services and emergency system.
The fire was brought under control with the assistance of fire fighting equipment, fitted at the terminal. Fire fighters and Marine Officers of the Port responded promptly, boarding the ship and keeping tugs were on stand by to take out the ship in case it became necessary.
The ships personnel were promptly evacuated from the engine room and the fire was finally brought under control by flooding the engine room with carbon dioxide.
The tanker had about 32,000 tons of crude oil remaining on board at the time of the incident and spread of the fire to the cargo area could have led to a major disaster, a Cochin Port Trust spokesman said.
The emergency operations were supervised by Capt. Paul Joseph, Deputy Conservator, Capt. J Alapat, Harbour Master and Mr B Radhadrishnan Nair, Chief Fire Officer.
Cochin Port Trust Chairman N Ramachandran has announced awards for all personnel involved in the operation.