The fire on an oil tanker stranded off Sri Lanka for nearly a week was brought under control again on Wednesday, September 9, but a diesel leak detected the day before formed a slick a kilometer long, the Sri Lankan Navy said. -Lankan, raising fears of a new environmental disaster in the Indian Ocean.
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The fire started last Thursday aboard the New Diamond, 330 meters long and loaded with 270,000 tons of crude oil as well as 1,700 tons of diesel for its machines.
It resumed on Monday due to strong winds after it was announced Sunday as extinct.
As of Wednesday, according to the Navy, there were no more flames or smoke on the New Diamond.
A powerful tug pushed it back out to sea, 68 km off the east coast of Sri Lanka, as strong winds on Monday brought it closer to shore.
The fire weakened the structure of the tanker but did not reach its cargo of crude, hitting the engine room and superstructure, according to the emergency services.
2.2 tonnes of chemical powder to extinguish the fire
The Indian Coast Guard said it threw dispersant products from aircraft on the diesel slick in order to mitigate the effects on the environment.
They also supplied 2.2 tons of chemical powder to the Sri Lankan air force for use as a retardant on the burning tanker on Tuesday.
The tanker leans to the left.
A diesel leak occurred from its tanks as sea water used to fight the fire flowed from the superstructure,
”a spokesman for the Sri Lankan navy said on Tuesday.
Sri Lanka's Attorney General Dappula de Livera on Tuesday called on maritime authorities to seek damages from the owners of the tanker and a towing out of Sri Lankan waters.
Registered in Panama, the New Diamond is owned by a company registered in Liberia, Porto Emporios Shipping Ing., But is managed by the Greek shipowner New Shippping Limited, according to the Sri Lankan Navy.
Nineteen boats from India and Sri Lanka are helping to fight the fire.
The New Diamond was traveling from Kuwait to the Indian port of Paradip when it made a distress call Thursday after an explosion in its engine room that killed one of the 23 crew members, a Filipino sailor.
The others were able to be evacuated.
The New Diamond is larger than the Japanese bulk carrier MV Wakashio, which ran aground on a Mauritius reef in July, spilling more than 1,000 tonnes of oil into the island's pristine waters.