9 more chemical containers fall off ship, 5 missing | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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9 more chemical containers fall off ship, 5 missing

mumbai Updated: Aug 18, 2010 01:56 IST
Bhavika Jain
Bhavika Jain
Hindustan Times
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Nine new containers have fallen off the vessel MSC Chitra, officers from the Directorate General of Shipping said on Tuesday.

“The Coast Guard has managed to retrieve four of these containers. Of the five other that are missing, four contain solid sodium hydroxide and one contains solid pesticides. The search for them is on,” said an officer from the Directorate General (DG) of Shipping.

MSC Chitra, which collided with another vessel MV Khalijia-III on August 7, had 531 containers on board. Of these, 31 contained hazardous chemicals such as solid sodium hydroxide and solid phosphate pesticides.

Officers from the DG (Shipping) said the ship is still tilted at 30 degrees and some of the containers on the deck of the ship have fallen into the ship’s hold (storage space).

Neither the Coast Guard nor the Navy has spotted any containers floating on the sea.

Navy Survey Boats that have been employed to mark and help retrieve sunken containers have identified six sunken containers near the main navigational channel and eight at other locations.

Divers deployed by salvers from Singapore, SMIT International, are attending to the sunken containers near the navigation channels on a priority basis.

The two vessels were severely damaged after the collision that occurred off the Mumbai coast. More than 400 tonnes of fuel oil spread across the

coastline damaging the marine habitat.

Sources from SMIT told Hindustan Times that while attempting to board the vessel the team of salvers felt the pesticide containers may have fallen into the hold of the ship. As a result, the boarding of the ship has been deferred to Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the Navy escorted two convoys of ships passing the channel.

Five vessels from Mumbai Port Trust and (MbPT) seven from the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) were piloted out while three ships heading for MbPT and 10 for JNPT were piloted in.

Sixty-three vessels have been piloted out and 71 vessels have been docked in the days after the collision. Vessels beyond a draft of 12.5 metres are, however, not being piloted for now.