MSC Chitra collides with MV Khalijia-III Mumbai Oil Spill News Photos Videos
A navigational error resulted in the collision of two merchant vessels due to which an oil spill has been reported near Mumbai’s coast on Saturday morning. No loss of life was reported. The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) rescued 33 sailors, but due to the impact of the collision a few containers filled with dry cargo have fallen into the sea.
“At 9.50 am on Saturday, merchant vessel Khalijia III was heading into Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) and the Panama-flagged MSC Chitra was leaving the port area when the collision occurred,” said Captain Manohar Nambiar, chief public relations officer, defence, Mumbai. A couple of containers aboard MSC Chitra fell into the sea.
The ICG’s Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC), Mumbai, received information about the incident at around 10 am. The container vessel MSC Chitra was grounded in the vicinity of Prongs Reef lighthouse.
“On receiving word, the regional operational centre of the ICG promptly despatched Indian Coast Guard ship Kamala Devi to render assistance. As of now 33 crew members have been safely evacuated by the Coast Guard ship and tugboat Vamsee-III. No casualty has been reported,” added Capt. Nambiar. Later on Saturday, ICG ship Sangram was sent with control response equipment.
“However, there is an oil spill in the area and the Coast Guard has sent a helicopter and ship for the necessary pollution control. MSC Chitra has suffered major damage and it is carrying around 2,000 tonnes of fuel,” said a Coast Guard officer. As of Saturday evening, the authorities were unable to assess the extent of the oil spill and damage to marine life. “Mitigation measures to control the oil spill are currently on. Oil needs to be pumped out of the merchant vessel into another barge, but choppy sea conditions are creating a bit of a problem,” added the Coast Guard official.
By late Saturday afternoon, the ships had been stabilised and were not at any risk of sinking. According to the Coast Guard officer, it was clearly a navigational failure. The Director-General of Shipping as well as the port authorities will be conducting an inquiry into the accident. “A proper picture of exactly what went wrong can be ascertained only after a detailed investigation,” said the officer.
MSC Chitra was heading to Mundra from JNPT. On July 18, the Coast Guard’s MRCC, Mumbai, had received a distress call from MV Khalijia-III due to excessive flooding. The vessel had been grounded due to flooding. Thereafter, authorities rendered immediate assistance by sending the tugboat Garware-III and ICG ship Subhadra Kumari Chauhan for rescue operations. All 28 crew members were evacuated.
MV Khalijia-III had come to JNPT from China carrying 30,000 tonnes of steel coils. It was berthed for repairs at JNPT.