Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition)
Battle to control fire on drifting oil tanker
COLOMBO: Indian coastguards, backed by the Sri Lankan navy, were fighting a major fire on an oil tanker drifting near Sri Lanka, a navy spokesman said yesterday more than 30 hours after the blaze broke out.
The tanker was heading from Kuwait to India with 270 000 tons of crude oil when an explosion and fire broke out near the engine room on Thursday morning.
The ship was 38 nautical miles (70km) off the south-eastern coast of Sri Lanka at the time, and is now 25 nautical miles from shore, Sri Lanka’s director of naval operations Admiral Y N Jayaratna said.
“Due to the intense heat there have been cracks reported in the vessel.”
One of the 23 crew members is feared to have been killed in the fire, while the others have been rescued, the navy said.