September 19, 2020
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    No risk of oil spill from blazing oil tanker – efforts to douse the fire with international assistance

    September 04, 2020

     

    There is no danger of an oil spill to Sri Lanka from the Panama-flagged tanker “MT New Diamond” which is on fire 22 nautical miles off Sangaman Kanda Point east of Sri Lanka, said Director General (Operations) of the Navy, Rear Admiral Y. N. Jayarathna.

    Addressing a media briefing held at the Government Information Department today, he said that the oil tanker is currently in the deep sea area of over 03 km and there is no danger of the ship’s bottom hitting any rocks at the sea bed.He added that there is a distance of over 22 nautical miles between the ship and land, but said that due to the currents in the area there is a possibility of the ship drifting to the South parallel to the shore line.
    Responding to queried on the cracks that were observed on the ship’s hull, he said several cracks in the hull of the oil tanker was caused by the intense heat due to the fire.

    The cracks were observed right under the superstructure, he said, while noting that heat at one place for a long time can cause such cracks.

    Rear Admiral Jayaratna, however, pointed out that these cracks does not suggest that the vessel is breaking apart.

    He also noted that around 60 feet of the ship’s bottom is under water, which minimizes the possibility of an explosion.
    Jayaratna also noted that so far there is no danger of any oil leakage as the oil storage compartment is well sealed and there is a large ballast tank between the engine room and the cargo section which could be filled with water or sand. Hence, he said that was little danger of the fire affecting the cargo.

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