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Unknown chemical leak noticed from sinking ship
Mumbai, Aug 11 (IANS):
Published on 12 Aug. 2010 12:00 AM IST
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A minor leakage of a chemical has been reported from the sinking Panamanian ship MSC Chitra even as an international team of salvagers initiated attempts to stop containers from falling off the vessel, an official said here Wednesday.
The minor leakage of the black/brown coloured substance - which has not been identified by the relief teams - has been observed from the port midship and the trail extends up to nearly a quarter nautical miles from the vessel.
Besides this, there is no further seepage of fuel oil from the damaged portion of the ship since late Monday. A team of salvagers of SMIT International of Singapore has arrived and mobilized a barge, equipment and manpower near the vessel and started the process to secure the falling containers. So far, they have managed to secure around a dozen containers, the official said.
However, in view of the rough sea at the site of the collision, no attempts have been made yet to stabilize the ship tilted at an angle of 70 degrees, nor has pumping out of fuel oil been taken up.
MSC Chitra and a St. Kitts ship MV Khalijia-III Saturday morning collided outside the Mumbai harbour, barely five kilometres from south Mumbai, causing an oil spill.
The ship was loaded with a total 1,219 containers at the time of the accident.
Of the total cargo, 512 containers were loaded on the deck, including 31 that were later found to contain hazardous material, and the remaining 707 were below the deck.
MSC Chitra captain gets bail
A local court Wednesday granted interim bail to the captain of merchant vessel MSC Chitra, which collided with another cargo ship off the city coast, after the prosecution sought time to file a reply on his anticipatory bail plea. The captain, Mandeleno Ranjit Martin, had sought bail after an FIR was registered against him.
The prosecution sought time till August 18 to file their reply on the bail plea. Principal Judge of the sessions court M L Tahalayani, while adjourning the matter, directed the city police not to arrest the captain till then.
Two Panamanian vessels -- MSC Chitra and MV Khalija-111 -- collided off the Mumbai coast on Saturday resulting in an oil spill.
An FIR was registered following the incident against the captain and the crew members of both the vessels under relevant sections of the IPC and Environment Protection Act. They were booked under section 280 (Rash navigation of vessel), 336 (endangering life of others) and 427 (mischief causing damage) of IPC and relevant sections of the Environment Protection Act.
Meanwhile, the BMC said, that various samples of sea food items like Bombil (Bombay Duck) and Prawns have been sent to labs for testing and reports will come within four days to confirm whether they are hygienic or not”.
Checks have been conducted only in affected city areas like Colaba, Fort, Nariman Point and others from where most of the sea food is procured. These checks were done on a random basis at those landing spots that supply sea food to municipal markets, Kamat said adding the process will continue atleast for few more days.
BMC has 92 municipal markets in all of which 53 sell sea food. There are over 29 markets in the city area, of which sea food is available at 24 markets, he said.
The civic body has also issued an advisory asking people to take precautions while buying fish.

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