Chennai Oil Spill: How do you get ‘chocolate mousse’ out of the ocean?

A fortnight after the Dawn Kanchipuram spilt an estimated 75 tonnes of bunker oil — a heavy petroleum residue used to start ship engines — port authorities are yet to explain how two enormous tankers, each freighted with inflammable hydrocarbons, could collide three kilometres off the Chennai coastline. Port officials have prevaricated on everything from the quantity of oil spilt and the time needed for cleanup, to the long-term effects on the region's fragile and besieged marine ecology. What follows is the first detailed account of the collision and its aftermath, revealing a series of oversights and operational missteps that put India's eastern coast at peril.

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Saturday, October 01, 2022
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