Aerial view of the oil tanker "New Diamond"
Sri Lankan Air Force / AFP
An explosion and subsequent fire occurred on an oil tanker near Sri Lanka.
270,000 tons of oil threatened to leak into the sea, said a military commander in Sri Lanka.
The fire that broke out in the engine room is now under control, reported the Reuters news agency, citing a marine spokesman.
There is no confirmation for this information yet.
The German press agency reports that 22 out of 23 crew members could have been saved.
At least two of them were injured.
The remaining crew member was believed to have died in the flames in the engine room.
Disaster 20 miles off the coast
Sri Lanka sent three military ships and a helicopter to the site of the accident, which is about 20 nautical miles, about 37 kilometers, off the east coast of Sri Lanka.
The Panama-registered "New Diamond" was supposed to bring the oil from Kuwait to India.
The Indian Oil Corp (IOC) ship had set course for the port of Paradip, where the state-owned company operates a refinery.
The tanker was built in 2000, is 333 meters long and 60 meters wide and has a draft of around 20 meters.
Just a few weeks ago, the accident of a Japanese freighter caused an environmental disaster off Mauritius.
Icon: The mirror
ala / dpa / Reuters