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Oil spill off Orissa coast

india Updated: Sep 22, 2009 01:57 IST
Soumyajit Pattnaik
Soumyajit Pattnaik
Hindustan Times
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A sunken Mongolian ship, which had docked at Paradip port in the Bay of Bengal allegedly without valid documents, has been spilling huge amounts of furnace oil 3 nautical miles (5.5 km) from the port since Monday.

The ship sank within India’s maritime border, which extends to 12 nautical miles (22 km) from the coast.

MV Black Rose, owned by a Singapore-based company, sank after 24,000 tonnes of iron ore were loaded on it at Paradip on September 9. The vessel was carrying 920 tonnes of furnace oil. The Paradip Port Trust (PPT) has not been able to retrieve the oil and has contacted national and international firms to clean up the mess.

The oil slick is endangering Olive Ridley turtles and dolphins at the Garimatha marine sanctuary and other flora and fauna.

A thick film of black crude oil is clearly visible on the sea near Paradip, 80 km from Bhuba-neswar, and several dead fish lie scattered on the shore.

The oil could not be pumped out over the past 12 days despite hectic efforts by the Orissa government’s environment department, the state’s pollution control board and the PPT.