The Indian Navy on Monday said that another fire has erupted on the oil tanker, MT New Diamond, off the east coast of Sri Lanka, that was ablaze till last week but was contained with India’s help.
“Re-ignition of fire observed on Starboard (Right) side of MT New Diamond,” the Navy said in a statement. “Fire-fighting and boundary cooling efforts intensified to bring fire under control. Salvage team has arrived at scene. Additional assets, salvage personnel and FF equipment also enroute.”
The New Diamond, a very large crude carrier chartered by the Indian Oil Corporation, had sailed from the port of Mina Al Ahmadi in Kuwait and was heading towards the port of Paradeep in India. The Panamanian-registered vessel, which was carrying 2,70,000 tonnes of oil, caught fire off the coast of Sangaman Kanda in Ampara on September 3.
By September 5 morning, several agencies had together contained the fire and tugged it about 40 nautical miles into the deep sea and away from land. Authorities added that there was no risk of an oil spill from the fully loaded supertanker. The Indian Coast Guard and the Indian Navy also assisted Sri Lankan authorities in dousing the flames on the tanker on Saturday.
In the rescue, 22 crew members were saved from the vessel, while one person – a Filipino sailor – died in a boiler explosion of the tanker. The other crew members included 17 Filipinos and five Greeks.
On Saturday, Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had thanked all the agencies for their efforts in controlling the fire and for preventing a disaster in the Indian Ocean.