It’s been five days and counting since two ships carrying liquefied petroleum and oil collided near the Kamarajar Port in Ennore causing an oil spill. And while officials continue to downplay the oil spill that has now spread to 35 kilometres along the coast of Chennai, these pictures from the ground show the magnitude of the environmental disaster that workers and those living by the sea are dealing with.
More than 500 people from the Indian Coast Guard, workers from Kamarajar Port, fishermen and students from Vels University have been working round-the-clock removing sludge from the sea. With hardly equipment provided, they have been manually scooping out the oil using buckets and pouring the black sludge into giant drums.
While some estimates suggest that over 40 tonnes of oil sludge have been removed, those working tireless say it will take another two days for the coast to be cleared of the oil.