MUMBAI, INDIA – Two cargo ships collided with each other on Saturday, August 7, 2010 in the Arabian Sea off the coast of India near Mumbai. The collision triggered an oil spill and about 500 tons of oil spewed from one of the vessels.
Panamanian-registered MSC Chitra listing badly after running aground off the coast
of Mumbai, India. Containers can be seen falling into the sea. Photo credit: Reuters
The two ships involved in the collision were the MSC Chitra (registered in Panama) and the MV-Khalijia-III (registered in St. Kitts). The collision occurred when the MSC Chitra smashed into the MV-Khalijia-II near the Port of Jawaharlal Nehru, India.
The MSC Chitra was listing badly and some of its containers were falling into the sea.
Location of cargo ship collision and oil spill off the coast of Mumbai, India in the Arabian Sea.
Early reports said that the cause of the collision was due to a failure of radio communication between the two ships.
A few days later, the MSC Chitra ran aground about 5 nautical miles off the coast of Mumbai, India. This has resulted in a huge oil spill unprecedented in this region.
Information is sketchy as to the type of cargo they were carrying or whether any hazardous materials were involved.
According to Ashok Chavan, the top elected official in the area, the oil leak was finally plugged late Monday. Unfortunately, though, about 500 tons had already spilled out.
According to defense ministry spokesman Capt. Manohar Nambiar, the oil slick had spread over an area of about 5 kilometers around the ship (about 3 miles).
Even though the MSC Chitra is now tilting dangerously, there appears to be little chance of the vessel sinking because it ran aground on a large rock where the water is shallow. It is very close to the harbor and is not deep enough to completely submerge the ship.
Thirty-three crew members were rescued from the vessel and more than 200 shipping containers had fallen into the sea as a result of the collision.