IN PICS: Ship collision off Mumbai wreaks havoc

Panamanian-flagged vessel MSC Chitra remains dangerously unstable.
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IN PICS: Ship collision off Mumbai wreaks havoc

Two Panamanian cargo ships, MSC Chitra and MV Khalija-111, collided on Saturday off the Mumbai coast causing an oil spill and a disastrous scenerio for consignment holders.  Luckily the thirty three crew members were rescued following the incident, with no casualties reported.

Officials have since called in six coastguard vessels and a helicopter with anti-pollution dispersal spray systems to contain the oil spill. Estimates range from 10-15 tonnes of diesel fuel being dumped in the sea since Saturday.

Atleast 31 containers with hazardous chemicals, including organo-phosphorous pesticides, sodium hydrochloride and pyrethroid pesticides were on board the Chitra, with quite a few of them falling into the sea. Some estimates have said more than 300+ containers have been dumped into the water.

There are signs of progress however, as authorities are attempting to clean up the mess. "No fresh oil spill was reported ever since the fuel stopped trickling out from one of the merchant vessel Chitra's tanks," said SPS Basra, of the Indian Coast Guard.

"It is good to see no further spill but our anti-pollution operation is underway on Tuesday as well. Wherever we are finding thick oil patches, we are spraying chemical dispersals to neutralise the oil effect," he said adding there is no further tilting of the vessel.

Containers fall from the deck of damaged cargo ship MSC Chitra in the Arabian Sea off the Mumbai coast August 9, 2010. Teams from the Navy and the Coast Guard were attempting to contain an oil spill off the coast of Mumbai on Monday after a collision between two cargo ships. Many are concerned that the slick may spread inland. Officials are estimating that the Chitra has dumped between 10 to 15 tonnes of diesel into the sea waters.

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