Oil spill threat­ens Sun­der­bans ecol­ogy

Down to Earth - - THE FORTNIGHT - AN OIL

spill oc­curred in the Sun­der­bans area of Bangladesh when an oil tanker car­ry­ing more than 350,000 litres of bunker oil sank in the Sela river af­ter be­ing hit by a cargo ves­sel. The col­li­sion oc­curred in­side the Chand­pai dol­phin sanc­tu­ary. Ex­perts have warned that the chem­i­cal could harm the del­i­cate ecol­ogy of the Sun­der­bans. The spill is likely to threaten rare Ir­rawaddy dol­phins. There are re­ports that a dead dol­phin has al­ready been spot­ted in the Har­in­tana-Tam­bul­bunia chan­nel of the Sela River. Of­fi­cial an­nounce­ments have not yet clar­i­fied the ex­tent of the dam­age. In­dian au­thor­i­ties are try­ing to find out whether the spill is spread­ing to In­dia or not. Lo­cals, how­ever, claimed that the In­dian side of the river is af­fected.

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