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DG Shipping probing Chennai oil spill incident: Coast Guard

DG Shipping probing Chennai oil spill incident: Coast Guard
On board ICGS Bard (Bay of Bengal): A probe has been ordered by the Directorate General of Shipping into the oil spill that took place after two ships collided off Chennai coast even as more than 2,000 personnel are busy clearing the slick, the Coast Guard said on Friday.

Its Eastern Region Inspector General Rajan Bargotra said the January 28 incident "is a major accident but a minor (oil) spill that occurred in nearly 34,000 square metres on the eastern coast of the Bay of Bengal". The mishap had taken place when "M T BW Maple", with a flag of "Isle of Man", was leaving after emptying Liquefied Petroleum Gas and M T Dawn, Kanchipuram, loaded with petroleum oil lubricant (POL), was on its way to berth at Kamarajar Port.

"Oil spill has occurred in nearly 72 km of the eastern coast from Ennore Port to Mahabalipuram. About 12 km got affected with oil slick and about 250 metres, particularly in R K Nagar Kuppam area, was most affected," he told reporters. The official said 72 tonnes of the sludge has been cleaned up and 54 kilolitres of oil mixed with water collected through super sucker equipment.

"An inquiry has been ordered by DG Shipping and based on that we will be able to know the exact amount of oil spilled into the sea," he said.

Govt claims to complete 80% oil clean-up

More than 80 per cent of the clean -up operation after the oil spill off Kamarajar Port in Tamil Nadu has been completed and most of the residual work is expected to be over within two to three days, the Lok Sabha was informed on Friday. Minister of State for Shipping Pon Radhakrishnan also told the House that the Directorate General of Shipping has instituted an inquiry under the Merchant Shipping Act to ascertain the cause and contributory factors that led to the accident last Saturday. Two vessels, M T BW Maple and M T Dawn Kanchipuram, had collided in the wee hours on January 28 off the Kamarajar harbour and one of the ships carrying 32,813 tonnes of oil suffered damage, leading to the spill. There was no casualty.
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