Sept 17, Colombo: Niros Helias, the Greek captain of the MT New Diamond oil tanker, which caught fire in the seas off Sri Lanka’s Eastern Coast has been summoned to appear in court on the 28th of this month.
Colombo Additional Magistrate Priyantha Liyanage issued the order today after considering a request made by Deputy Solicitor General Dileepa Peiris, who appeared for the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).
MT New Diamond oil tanker carrying 270,000 metric tons of crude and 1700 metric tons of diesel from Kuwait to Pradip Port in India caught fire on 03 September about 38 nautical miles off Sangamankanda Point in Sri Lanka’s Eastern Coast.
One of the 23 crew members died in the fire while Sri Lanka Navy rescued a badly injured engineer of the ship and safely evacuated the other crew members.
DSG Dileepa Peiris, who appeared before the court when the complaint was called through a motion, said the Government Analyst’s Department report confirmed the crude oil stored aboard MT New Diamond had not leaked, however, a portion of the 1700 metric tons of diesel required for the use of the tanker had leaked into the ocean creating an oil slick with a thickness of two meters and a width of 400 meters.
The Deputy Solicitor General told the court that investigations had revealed that seawater had been polluted up to 6.5 km from the area where the ship caught fire due to the oil spill. He also said that the Government Analyst had concluded that the fuels mixed with seawater contained strong petroleum constituents.