India has deployed eight vessels and two aircraft to help control the fire on a supertanker off the Sri Lankan coast, people familiar with developments said on Friday. The tanker New diamond, chartered by the Indian Oil Corporation was carrying about 300,000 tonnes of oil when it caught fire and exploded.
Following the explosion, one member of the 23-strong crew was reported missing and subsequently presumed dead.
India had earlier deployed five vessels from the Coast Guard and three from the navy in an attempt to aid Sri Lankan authorities to control the fire.
The vessel’s engine room had caught fire on Thursday which had later spread to the bridge. While the crew included five Greek nationals and 18 Filipinos, the missing Filipino was gravely injured when the explosion occurred.
Mounting environmental concerns have also been expressed by experts. According to reports, there will be severe implications if the ship breaks causing an oil spill.