Rough sea force team to return, ship inspection on Tuesday
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Last Updated: Monday, October 19, 2009, 23:12
Bhavnagar: A three member team from the Central government which had gone to inspect Platinum II ship, alleged of carrying hazardous toxic and radioactive substance, had to return from mid-way due to rough sea on Monday, Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) officials said here.

The team will now go for inspection of the ship on Tuesday early morning, the GMB officials said.

"We set off around 1430 hours but had to return mid-way as the sea was very rough today. We will go for inspection tomorrow early morning around 0430 hours," one of the members of the Central Government team Dr S A Hussain head of the Radiology safety division, of AERB (Atomic Enegry Regulatory Board) said to a news agency.

Besides, Hussain the team includes senior officer from the ministry of environment.

According to GMB officials, Platinum II is anchored near Gopnath some 40 nautical miles from the Alang coast.

The Central team is here as part of the inquiry ordered by the Union Environment Minister Jayram Ramesh last week after Indian Platform on Ship-breaking (IPOS), an NGO, alleged that Platinum-II was loaded with toxic polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contaminated material, asbestos as part of its construction along with radioactive substances.

The Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) also denied any damage to the ship Platinum II which was previously known as S S Independence and S S Oceanic.

However, the ship's owner Komalkant Sharma of Leela Ship-Breaking Ltd; claimed that there were cracks in the bottom of the ship.

"There are cracks in the bottom of the ship, because of which the water has started seeping the ship as there is high tide today. During low tide the water would go out," Sharma said to a news agency.

Sharma who had bought the ship for breaking purpose nearly 10 days ago said that he has already written to the GMB about the issue.

"Till date they (GMB) have not taken any action even after informing them," he said.

He also claimed that the port authorities have already inspected Platinum II three times.

Sharma also denied presence of any radio active material on board the ship. "This is not a warship which would have nuclear bomb or weapon on it. This is normal passenger ship," he said.

Confirming that there was asbestos used in the ship, Sharma said, "Yes there is asbestos on the ship but it is not in high quantity. It would be less than 200 tonne."

Bureau Report

First Published: Monday, October 19, 2009, 23:12

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