Oil tanker on fire near Lankan coast chartered by IOC (Ld)

Chennai, Sep 3 : An Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) chartered oil tanker ‘New Diamond on Thursday caught fire 37 nautical miles off the Sri Lankan coast.

According to reports, the very large crude carrier (VLCC) tanker was carrying a large amount of crude oil when a fire was reported in its engine room on Thursday morning.

As per www.marinetraffic.com, the 20-year-old VLCC ‘New Diamond’ sailing under Panama flag departed from Mina Al Ahmadi on August 23 and was heading to Paradip port in India.

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The oil tanker was expected to reach Paradip in Odisha on Septrber 5 where IOC has a large refinery.

The vessel’s deadweight tonnage (DWT) is 299986 t, length is 333 metres and width is 60 metres.

The Indian Coast Guard said the Sri Lankan Navy had sought assistance to fight the fire and explosion on board New Diamond.

The Coast Guard said it had diverted three of its ships – Shaurya, Sarang, Samudra Paheredar and a Dornier aircraft for firefighting operations.

However, IOC officials remained silent on the accident.

Seeing the pictures of the ship on fire, a marine engineer told IANS that the engine room is gutted and it is not known whether the pump room – where the pumps to pump out the crude oil are located – too have been damaged.

He said it has to be seen how the engine room fire was put out – whether by using carbon dioxide, normally used as a last resort.

According to reports, another ship Helen M an oil products tanker sailing under the Panama flag on receipt of distress message had gone to the location of New Diamond for rescue.

Helen M was sailing from Mangalore to Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.

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