New Diamond, a VLCC chartered by India’s state-owned Indian Oil Corporation, carrying 270,000 tonnes (approximaely 2 million barrels) of oil caught fire 37 nautical miles east off the coast of Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean
The crew members are five Greek and 18 Philippines nationals. A spokesman for the Sri Lankan Navy, Captain Indika de Silva told Reuters that a Filipino crew member is missing and presumed dead.
The Associated Press said the Sri Lankan navy confirmed the missing Filipino crew member had died in a boiler explosion. Another Philippines national, the ship’s third engineer, was injured and airlifted off the ship. Other crew members are accounted for.
The Associated Press and Reuters reported the fire broke out in the engineroom on 3 September and had spread to the bridge of the ship.
The ship was stranded 38 km east of the Sri Lankan town of Thirukovil and drifted 25 km of the coast after being abandoned. The ship is being towed eastward, away from the coast.
Both the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) and the Sri Lankan navy are responding to the situation as the fire continues to rage. ICG deployed patrol vessels Shaurya and Sarang, a pollution control vessel Samudra Paheredar and an aircraft.
ICG patrol vessels Ameya and Abheek and a tug have also been dispatched. In a public statement on its official twitter handle, ICG said it is in consultation with the master of New Diamond.
Data from Marinetraffic.com showed 300,000 dwt, 333 m x 60 m New Diamond departed from Mina Al Ahmadi in Kuwait en route to Pradip Port in Odisha, India where Indian Oil Corporation operates a refinery.
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