Skip to main content
Welcome to
super saver spring
offer ends april 20
save over $140
save over 85%
$0.99
per week for 24 weeks
Welcome to
super saver spring
$0.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

This photo released by the Sri Lankan Air Force shows ships fighting a fire on the MT New Diamond, off the coast of Sri Lanka, on Sept. 8, 2020.

The Associated Press

An Indian coast guard aircraft sprayed a special chemical on a patch of diesel fuel near a large oil tanker off Sri Lanka’s coast where firefighters are battling a new blaze that broke out two days after an earlier fire was extinguished, the navy said.

The MT New Diamond is carrying nearly 2 million barrels of crude oil and officials have warned of possible massive environmental damage to Sri Lanka’s coast if the ship leaks or explodes.

Navy spokesman Capt. Indika de Silva said the new fire started Monday evening and reached the magnitude of the previous blaze. Firefighters have contained it but it is still burning, he said.

Story continues below advertisement

High winds, extreme temperatures on the ship and sparks reignited it, the navy said, adding that so far there is no risk of a crude oil leak or of the fire spreading into the oil storage area.

The navy said the initial fire began in an engine room boiler and did not spread to the oil storage area.

However, it said “a diesel patch” had been spotted in the ocean about one kilometre (0.6 mile) from the ship. The patch is likely to be diesel fuel from the ship, it said. The ship has about 1,700 tons of diesel fuel to power its engines.

An Indian coast guard aircraft sprayed a chemical on the patch to minimize damage to the marine environment, the navy said.

Ships and helicopters from Sri Lanka and neighbouring India are taking part in the firefighting efforts.

The initial fire killed one Filipino crew member and injured another, but 21 other crew members escaped uninjured.

Twenty were taken to the southern port city of Galle on Tuesday, while the captain remained on a ship near the tanker to help firefighting efforts, de Silva said.

Story continues below advertisement

The tanker is about 30 nautical miles (55 kilometres) off the coast, the navy said.

The tanker was transporting crude oil from the port of Mina Al Ahmadi in Kuwait to the Indian port of Paradip, where the state-owned Indian Oil Corp. has a refinery.

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies