Ships Finally Moving in Indian Port After Ship Collision

Mumbai, India —Today the Indian Navy began moving ships in and out of the Mumbai port that has been closed since Saturday, after two vessels collided spilling containers and fuel into the sea.

Nearly 300 containers were thrown into the waters of the Jawahar Lal Nehru port, making navigation dangerous, so officials shut the port down to clear the waters.

Using helicopters, minesweepers and sonar equipment, the navy created a safe channel in the sea and escorted seven ships out of the Mumbai harbor and brought in five vessels waiting to be berthed there.

The containers had fallen off the MSC CHITRA, which ran aground and has been listing heavily following the collision. It spilled nearly 500 tons of its fuel and lubricants before the leaks were plugged Monday. The second ship, the MV-KHALIJIA-II, suffered less damage.

On Wednesday, the salvers SMIT International, Singapore, recovered 15 containers from the sea.

The government statement reported that analysis of water samples so far showed no contamination from hazardous chemicals like sodium hydroxide or pesticides. Oil has however washed ashore in some areas.

The state authorities have banned fishing in the area until Aug. 15.

Photo courtesy of AFP