Fire on oil tanker near Sri Lanka extinguished after days

The fire on an oil tanker off the southeast coast of Sri Lanka was extinguished after three days. No oil would have leaked out of the ship. A major environmental disaster was feared because it has about 2 million barrels on board.

The tanker New Diamond, flying the Panamanian flag, ran into trouble 20 kilometres off the coast on Thursday. A fire broke out in the engine room. One crewman was killed, another was injured. The rest came aboard unharmed.

Four tugboats, three Sri Lankan naval vessels and six ships from India helped to fight the fire. The Sri Lankan Coast Guard also delivered five ships.

The commander of the Navy warned that a fire could reoccur because the ship’s structure is still very hot.

The extinguishing work will continue for the time being, so that the ship can cool down further: