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Fire on oil tanker off Gujarat coast contained, no spillage

The fire onboard a diesel-laden tanker, which started two days ago off the Gujarat coast, has been contained successfully and no oil spillage in the sea has been reported. The merchant vessel, MT Genessa, was anchored 15 nautical miles off Deendayal Port at Kandla, around 300km from here.

The blaze has been contained successfully on January 19th by the joint efforts of the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) and other stakeholders without any spillage, said a release by the Defence PRO for Gujarat .

"The fire on MT Genessa successfully doused. No spillage from the vessel. No imminent threat at present. A major disaster in the Gulf of Kutch averted due to prompt and well-coordinated operation," it said.


The fire onboard the oil tanker was reported on January 17 evening. Since then, various agencies, led by the ICG, initiated efforts to douse the flames as well as to stop any possible oil spillage. All the 26 crew members were evacuated. Two crew members suffered burn injuries and one of them died yesterday.

As the tanker was carrying 34,000 tonnes of high-speed diesel, the ICG had cordoned the vessel using tugs to avoid possible oil spill in the sea. Besides three ICG boats and nine tugs from the Kandla Port Trust, the Port Trust Fire Department and the Marine Police were also roped in for the rescue operation and dousing the flames.

The alertness with which various agencies including coastguards acted in Kandla was missing when a similar mishap took place at Kamarajar port Ennore when two tankers collided causing a major spill. The spill which spread to a distance of about one kilometer reaching Mahabalipuram was there for several days. One saw the sorry spectacle of volunteers removing the spill using buckets.

Chennai shipping sources told Sagar Sandesh that it is time government activated the disaster plan in other parts of the country as well.

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