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* Sri Lanka, India forces continue to battle fresh fire on stricken oil tanker in seas
Tue, Sep 8, 2020, 07:40 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Sept 08, Colombo: Ships, aircraft and tugs belong to the Sri Lanka Navy, Sri Lanka Air Force, Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard and other stakeholders are continuing their disaster management operations to suppress the fire resulted by adverse weather, onboard the MT New Diamond again.

As a result of the incessant effort of the mission partners, the flames have been reduced to a certain extent as of now, Sri Lanka Navy said.

The Sri Lanka Air Force for the first time in its history used a Bell 212 Helicopter to drop 1000 kilograms of dry chemical powder to smother the new fire on the MT New Diamond Oil Tanker yesterday.

Meanwhile, 06 salvage operation experts as well as 11 disaster management professionals directed to the island by the company that acts as the commercial and technical operator of MT New Diamond, have arrived at the sea area where the distressed ship is located to support disaster management operations.

Accordingly, the Sri Lanka Navy and other disaster managing teams, following the expert advice, are active in close coordination to contain the blaze that developed again.

Nine ships, five tugs and aircraft belong to the Navy and other disaster management mission-partners are making their all-out contribution in this disaster management operation which is taking place about 30 nautical miles off Sangamankanda Point.

Further, two ships of Sri Lanka Coast Guard and three Fast Attack Craft belong to Sri Lanka Navy are engaged in the mission throughout, for logistics support.

Meanwhile, another Dornier aircraft of the Indian Coast Guard is expected to arrive in China Bay, Trincomalee from Chennai today with a consignment of Dry Chemical Powder.

However, the Sri Lanka Navy said there is no risk of the fire spreading to the oil storage or leaking oil from the ship into the sea as of now.

A research team from the National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA), Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) and University of Ruhuna is scheduled to visit the site today to inspect water samples, to find out if there is any damage to the marine environment due to the disaster.


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