Two merchant vessels collided just off the coast of Mumbai on Saturday morning, causing a minor oil spill near Nhava Sheva.
MSC Chitra, an outbound Panama-flagged container ship, left Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust just before 10 am and collided with inbound vessel MV Khalijia-III, which was carrying oil and coal.
As MSC Chitra ran aground near a lighthouse, the coast guard sent in a helicopter and a vessel to rescue the 33 crewmembers. The sailors were shifted to shore aboard ICG tug Vamsee-III.
The cause of the collision is suspected navigational error on the part of one or both the ships’ captains, but the details will be probed by statutory agencies like the Directorate-General of Shipping besides the Mumbai Port authorities.
Some oil spillage was noticed from the two ships but the officials described it as “minor”.
(With inputs from Agencies)