Oil spill threatens Mumbai coastline

The ship MT Rak Carrier was laden with 60,000 tonnes of coal and 340 tonnes of fuel and diesel when it sank.

Zeenews Bureau

Mumbai: The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board is on Monday expected to submit a detailed report on oil leak from cargo vessel MV Rak Carrier, which sank on Thursday afternoon, raising apprehensions of an ecological hazard.

The state police are expected to re-arrest the captain and crew members of the ship for further interrogation.

Earlier, two top officials of cargo vessel MT Rak Carrier were arrested, including the captain, but within hours of their arrest a court had on Saturday granted them bail.

The duo -- Jordanian Capt Arkan Younis, 36, and Romanian chief engineer Eonascho Eon, 54 -- were nabbed under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) Section 336, pertaining to endangering life or personal safety of others.

It was the carelessness of the captain and chief engineer which caused the ship to sink and raised pollution fears, said Bharat Bhoite, investigating officer at Yellowgate Police Station.

A Defence press release on Saturday said, "Since last (Friday) night, oil has been observed leaking from the sunken vessel Rak Carrier at an approximate rate of 1.5 to 2 tonnes per hour. The oil has spread about 7 nautical miles around the vessel."

The spill was confirmed in an aerial survey carried out by the Coast Guard. The recce found that the oil spill has spread up to seven nautical miles from where MV Rak went down.

Meanwhile, the Mumbai police have asked people to avoid going to beaches.

Mumbai Commissioner of Police Arup Patnaik visited the Juhu beach to check on the oil spill from the sunken vessel MV Rak Carrier.

"I appeal to the people not to go to the beach or enter the sea waters to avoid getting affected by the oil spill," Patnaik said.

The ship MT Rak Carrier was laden with 60,000 tonnes of coal and 340 tonnes of fuel and diesel when it sank.

The 30 crewmen aboard -- all Indonesians, Jordanians and Romanians -- were rescued in a coordinated effort by the Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard.

The Panama-flagged ship, owned and managed by M/s. Delta Shipping Marine Services, Qatar, was on a voyage from Lubuk-Tutung in Indonesia to Dahej port in Gujarat, carrying a consignment of coal meant for Adani Enterprises Ltd.

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