A day after the fuel tank of an oil tanker ship burst after the collision with an LPG carrying vessel, dead turtles and fish floated on the sea at Ernavur. "There is no damage like oil spill and no casualty or injury to any person. Both vessels are afloat and anchored. The extent of damage is under assessment," Kamarajar Port said in a statement on Saturday.
However, MA Bhaskarachar, chairman of Kamaraj Port in Ennore told TOI that at least one ton of heavy furnace oil (HFO) may have leaked from MT Dawn tanker Kanchipuram. He added that the incident may have occurred due to miscommunication between both the ships.
Indian Coast Guard on Sunday said it coordinated the mopping operations of oil spill due to the collision of the two petroleum product carriers.
The Coast Guard has already issued a notice to the master and the owner of the vessel to take all actions to undertake containment and recovery of oil spill and to take all necessary action to keep the environment clean as prevailing before the incident.
The collision between liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) vessel MT BW Maple and oil tanker MT Dawn Kanchipuram happened on Saturday early morning 4am.
In a statement issued in Chennai, the Coast Guard said it received information about drifting oil spill near Ennore from an inspector of the Fisheries Department.
"The Coast Guard promptly mobilised their Pollution Response Team (East) team for the mopping operation in close liaison with the State District Collector, Pollution Board, (formerly) Ennore Port (now Kamarajar Port) and local fisheries authorities," said a Coast Guard statement.
According to the Coast Guard, the initial assessment indicated a small patch of about 50 x 30 metre stretch along the rock beach.
The oil spill is suspected from the oil tanker MT Dawn Kanchipuram.
Coast Guard Pollution Response Team along with Oil MOP Skimmer with all gears undertook the mopping operations to clear the drifted oil slick from the beach area.
"The mopping operation is likely to continue for the next day with an aim clean the beach from the oil slick," Coast Guard said.
"There is no damage like oil spill and no casualty or injury to any person. Both vessels are afloat and anchored. The extent of damage is under assessment," Kamarajar Port said in a statement on Saturday.
Shipping industry professionals had said that it was "providential" that no major damage occurred due to the collision, which seems to be due to grave human error.
The LPG carrier was outbound while the other was inbound.
"It could certainly be said that it was a lucky escape as no major damage has happened to the vessels," said Girish Sehgal, LNG Vessel Technical Adviser.
He said the collision could have happened mainly due to human error.
Industry professionals said even if the LPG tanker is empty, there is always a risk of explosion due to presence of gas traces in emptied tanks.
(With IANS inputs)