Sunday, July 21

Govt investigators reach Sundarbans oil spill site


Two probe bodies formed to investigate the oil tanker capsize incident on the Shela river near the Sundarbans, a Unesco natural heritage site, visited the spot this morning.

The committees will inspect the reason of the accident, measured impact of the oil spilling and whether there are any negative effects of spraying the ‘oil spill dispersant’.

A total 400 litres oil out of 3.58 lakh found at the oil tanker, said M Giasuddin, managing director of the owning firm, Harun & Company. 

Earlier, the shipping ministry formed a three-member committee to investigate the accident. While the Ministry of Environment and Forest has formed another seven-member committee led by its additional secretary Md Nurul Karim.

Mallik Anwar Hossain of Khulna University and Prof Dr Dilip Kumar Datta, Head, Environmental Science Discipline Khulna University visited to the spot in the morning while five others on their way.

The committee will find out adverse effects of the oil spill on the ecology of the reserve forest.

Navy vessel Kandari-10 is standing by near at the accident spot. It will spray the powder if they get clearance from the environment department.

The authorities pulled the sunken oil tanker ashore yesterday.  But all the 3.58 lakh litres of furnace oil the tanker had been carrying already spilled into the rivers and the adjacent cannels.

The slick started on Tuesday morning, after the oil tanker, Southern Star-7, carrying 3.58 lakh litres of furnace oil and eight crew members sank near Mongla around 5:00am.

It learnt that, Southern Star-7 went down after being ploughed a cargo vessel ‘Total’ from front left side. Seven crews managed to swim ashore, but its captain Mokhlesur Rahman is still missing.

Khorshed Alam, brother of Mokhlesur told the Daily Star that they continued their search to trace out him by trawler.

Meantime, the authorities have asked the local people to collect the furnace oil and sell it to the Padma Oil Company agents. Locals have been advised to use fishing nets, sponges or any other manual means to collect the oil.