Amid undergoing works off the coast of India’s Chennai to clean up the oil spill, officials have seized the vessels involved in the accident and detained their crews.
Over a week after two cargo ships collided outside the Kamarajar Port, leaving the Chennai’s shoreline to be covered with the thick black oil, the National Green Tribunal on Monday sought immediate report from both the centre and the state governments over the issue.
The accident took place last week when M.T. Maple, an LPG tanker, and M.T. Kancheepuram, an oil and chemical tanker, collided about two nautical miles outside the harbour. No casualties or injuries were reported.
Around 20 tonnes of heavy fuel oil reportedly leaked after the accident and the sludge has reached to the Chennai coastline, travelling more than 18 miles and spreading at least 40 km along the shore.
Reports said the port authorities have impounded both the vessels and also instructed the crew members not to leave the Kamarajar Port until the investigation is over. Cases have been filed against the two tankers under six sections, including charges of polluting the sea waters.
Authorities had earlier said there was no spill or pollution, but the oil spill was confirmed after black viscous oil started to wash ashore in north Chennai.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam recently said that 90 per cent of the cleaning work has been completed as around 20 tonnes of the sludge in Tiruvallore, Chennai and Kancheepuram had been cleaned.
Environmental experts said that the oil spill would badly affecting marine life in the area as it has already killed hundreds of fishes and turtles.