Multiple agencies, coordinated by the Indian Coast Guard, continued their fight against the giant oil slick that is spreading far and wide for the seventh day on Friday along the Chennai coast.
According to experts, the oil slick had spread across the coastline from Ennore to beyond Thiruvanmiyur, a distance of over 30 kilometres.
Coast guard personnel, naval personnel and hundreds of volunteers were seen standing in queues and scooping up sludge with their hands to clear the oil that leaked after the collision of two ships on Saturday morning.
Seventy-two tonne of sludge was removed from the sea so far, said coast guard IG S Paramesh. He said the work was only half done as the overall estimate of the sludge — a combination of oil, marine debris and water — was pegged at 116 tonne.
The official said the actual leak was ten times more than what was originally reported and the preliminary responsibility of tackling it was that of the Kamarajar port.
He added that the initial information from the management of Kamarajar port at Ennore was that just two metric tonne oil had leaked after the collision between the two ships — MT Maple and MT Dawn Kanchipuram. MP Maple had offloaded its LPG consignment on the port and was leaving when it collided with MT Dawn Kanchipuram that was coming into the port, loaded with petrol and lubricants.
“Both the ships have been detained and secured at Kamarajar Port and inquiry is on,” said Kamarajar Port chairman cum managing director MA Bhaskarachar. The captains and crew have also been detained. The clean-up could continue for another two days, said an official.