Posted on July 02, 2018 by Hannah Berry
Further explosions have been reported on board stricken container ship SSL Kolkata. The ship which was engulfed by a ferocious fire less than one month ago remains aground off the Indian Sunderbans, Kolkata, West Bengal where the explosions have been heard.
ARX Maritime previously reported on the fire, which resulted in the evacuation of all 22 crew members on board the vessel in a co-ordinated effort from the Coast Guard, the Navy Sea King 42C helicopter and the Kolkata Port Trust.
The SSL Kolkata has now developed a heavy list to the starboard side with the port side partly submerged in the surrounding water. At the time of the original incident, the vessel was reported to be carrying in the region of 464 containers whilst on its way from India’s Krishnapatnam Port to the Port of Kolkata. A number of these containers have started to fall overboard as the list steadily worsens.
Officials have now warned that the vessel may break in two and are concerned for the 400 tons of heavy fuel oil which remains on board. Sheryas Shipping who operate the vessel have said that salvors and authorities are currently making every effort to remove the fuel and cargo from the vessel and support vessels are in the area to help with the salvage efforts.
A representative from the company said that “While there has been no release of any fuel oil to date, plans have also been developed by the authorities, salvors and other experts to address this eventuality. These include the deployment of absorbent booms and other countermeasures.”
The situation is currently ongoing, but the monsoon season conditions are hindering the salvage efforts.