Ecological backlash feared as huge oil spills into Karnaphuli

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Chattogram, October 26: Huge oil has spilled into the Karnaphuli River from a ship following a collision with another one in the Dolphin Oil Jetty-3 area of Chittagong Port early Thursday, posing a serious threat to the river and the environment.Khulna-bound oil tanker ‘Desh-1’ carrying 1,200 tonnes of diesel for a power plant collided with a lighterage ship – ‘CT 38’ – in the middle of the river around 2am on Thursday.

Following the collision, the oil tanker developed a crack beneath and oil started spilling into the river.

Port sources said the entire oil of the tanker spilled into the water.

Meanwhile, the authorities concerned started removing oil from the water considering its impacts on the river and the environment, said secretary of Chittagong Port Authority Mohd Omar Faruk.

He said they collected 8,000 litres of oil from the water as of Saturday.

Faruk said they were trying to control the situation removing oil with waste cleaning ships of the port – Bay Cleaner-1, Bay Cleaner-2, Skimmar-1, Skimmer-2, Tag Kandari-8, Kandari-10 and Kandari-11.

He said three people, including the masters of the two ships, were arrested over the collision and the two vessels were also seized.

The port secretary also said compensation will be sought from the owners of the ships.