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Mumbai oil spill clean-up completed

By Abdul Nisar

Mumbai, Sep 17 (ANI): Over five weeks after two ships collided off the Mumbai coast, Deepak Tewari, Chief Executive Officer of Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC claimed that clean up operations have been completed through specialised tug boats.

Two Panamanian ships, the MSC Chitra and the MV Khalija-III collided five nautical miles off Mumbai port on August 7. All crewmembers were rescued.

One ship, which was carrying a cargo of diesel and lubricant oil, capsized triggering an oil slick that spread to a distance of two nautical miles.

"We have four specialised tug boats standby around the Chitra. These tug boats are equipped with oil spill cleanup measures, and as the oil, if any oil is there, even small traces of oil, they get to the oil point, they disperse the oil and make sure that the oil does not become a hazard," Tewari said.

Many containers fell off the MSC Chitra into the sea after the ship tilted dangerously.

"All the containers that were floating have been retrieved, and put on barges and taken ashore. So, the hazardous material, like I said, they were total 31, out of which nine had fallen overboard. One has been retrieved; there are eight still left," said Tewari.

The MSC Chitra was carrying 2,662 tonnes of heavy oil in its various tanks and 245 tonnes of diesel oil.

The formation of a thick layer of poisonous oil in the seawaters inflicted a distressing blow to the bionomical equilibrium by rendering fishes, turtles and other species immobile due to its high viscosity.

Experts said that toxic fumigants resulting from the spill pose a lethal threat to the fragile ecosystems thriving in the area. (ANI)

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