Unknown chemical leak noticed from sinking ship

Mumbai, Aug 11 (Calcutta Tube) A minor leakage of a chemical has been reported from the sinking Panamanian ship MSC Chitra even as an international team of salvagers initiated attempts to stop containers from falling off the vessel, an official said here Wednesday.

The minor leakage of the black/brown coloured substance – which has not been identified by the relief teams – has been observed from the port midship and the trail extends up to nearly a quarter nautical miles from the vessel.

Besides this, there is no further seepage of fuel oil from the damaged portion of the ship since late Monday.

A team of salvagers of SMIT International of Singapore has arrived and mobilized a barge, equipment and manpower near the vessel and started the process to secure the falling containers. So far, they have managed to secure around a dozen containers, the official said.

However, in view of the rough sea at the site of the collision, no attempts have been made yet to stabilize the ship tilted at an angle of 70 degrees, nor has pumping out of fuel oil been taken up.

MSC Chitra and a St. Kitts ship MV Khalijia-III Saturday morning collided outside the Mumbai harbour, barely five kilometres from south Mumbai, causing an oil spill.

The ship was loaded with a total 1,219 containers at the time of the accident.

Of the total cargo, 512 containers were loaded on the deck, including 31 that were later found to contain hazardous material, and the remaining 707 were below the deck.

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