Efforts continued on a war-footing Monday to combat the oil spill from a Panaman ship that crashed into another vessel in Mumbai harbour as it threatened to spread further along the Konkan coastline, officials said.
Hectic efforts continued to combat the oil spill spanning around two miles in the Arabian Sea, three days after Panaman cargo carrier MSC Chitra and a St. Kitts-registered ship MV Khalijia-III collided outside the Mumbai harbour, barely five km from south Mumbai.
In the biggest such operation mounted so far in the Indian sea waters, authorities have deployed five Indian Coast Guard (ICG) ships, one helicopter and one small aircraft for controlling the massive oil spill, an official said.
The affected ship, MSC Chitra, was loaded with an estimated 2,600 tonnes of oil, 300 tonnes of diesel and 89 tonnes of lubricating oil at the time of the accident. The ship has also dangerously tilted at nearly 70 degrees and nearly 30 huge containers have so far fallen off into the sea.
The oil spill is expected to reach coastal areas of Uran and Mandava within the next 24 hours.. Mangroves in the Navi Mumbai belt too could be damaged.
There's also the danger of hazardous chemicals and pesticides on board poisoning marine life.
Oil continues to gush out from the fuel tank of the cargo ship MV Chitra, which had 2662 tonnes of fuel in its containers, when it collided with the ship MV Khalijia off Mumbai.
Unconfirmed reports say the oil slick may have spread over a 25 sq km area.