Under the prevailing situation, there is no danger from oil spills to Sri Lanka from the Panama-flagged tanker “MT New Diamond” which was engulfed in fire on Thursday (03), says Sri Lanka Navy (SLN).
Director General (Operations) of Navy, Rear Admiral Y. N. Jayarathna mentioned this addressing a special press conference this afternoon (04) to brief the media on the latest updates of the oil tanker on fire.
Earlier this morning, the Indian Coast Guard had reported several cracks in the hull of the oil tanker, he said, adding that this was caused by the intense heat in the vessel.
The cracks were observed right under the superstructure he said adding that heat at one place for a long time can cause such cracks.
The Navy spokesperson, however, pointed out that these cracks do not mean the vessel is breaking apart.
The Navy, in a statement issued earlier today, said the spread of fire from the superstructure at the rear of the “MT New Diamond” towards the crude oil storage facilities has been contained to a greater extent.
Two tugs “Rawana” and “Wasamba” of Hambantota International Port Group and the ALP “Winger” tug are making arrangements to tow the ill-fated oil tanker away from the shore towards deep sea.
The ALP “Winger” tug has been made the foreign company that owns the distressed vessel, the Navy said.
SLN Ships Sayura, Sindurala and Ranarisi with 02 Fast Attack Craft continue to conduct disaster relief operations with a view to manage the calamity.
Meanwhile, a Sri Lanka Coast Guard Ship and a Fast Attack Craft bringing fire extinguishing chemicals needed to quash the blazes have rushed to the scene of action.