authorities of the oil tanker MV New Diamond that went up in flames off Sri
Lanka's eastern waters last week seemed to have neglected warnings from the
crew on possible fire on board; a Sri Lankan court was told by the island
nation's authorities according to media reports.
hearing of the case on September 10th, the state lawyers told the Colombo Chief
Magistrate that the tanker's authorities seemed to have neglected warnings from
the crew on the possibility of fire on board. They had failed to see the
activation of the firefighting equipment on board the tanker.
One crew member died, another injured
crew member died and another was injured in the mishap. The fire was doused in
a joint operation of the Indian and Sri Lankan forces on Sunday last.
But a new
fire broke out within hours due to extreme heat and strong winds. After the
second fire was brought under control on Wednesday, the tanker was towed away
from the site.
to the Lankan Navy a narrow diesel patch, one km from the ship, was noticed on
Monday evening and an Indian Coast Guard aircraft sprayed dispersants to
minimise potential damage to the marine environment.
authorities sought court's permission to obtain oil samples on board the vessel
to carry out tests to verify that the oil leaks visible in the surrounding sea
area were those from the tanker.
The oil slick near the ship is about 10
to 30 metre wide and about a nautical mile long.
permitted the Marine Environmental Protection Authority (MEPA) personnel to
board the oil tanker and directed the authorities to obtain samples from the
crude oil stored inside the tanker and the copies of the vessel data records.
is floating currently 45 nautical miles (83 km) off Sri Lanka's east coast.
Plans to take action against the ship's
had said it plans to take action against the ship's owner under the country's
laws to protect the marine ecosystem.