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Chinese cargo ship sinks off Indian coast, authorities move to prevent oil spill

Mumbai: The Indian coast guard has responded to the threat of a possible oil spill along the Mangalore coast in South India following the sinking of Chinese cargo vessel 'MV Asian Forest' on Friday. The vessel was en route to Zhavgjiagang in China with a cargo of iron ore fines at the time of the incident and had 366 tonnes of fuel oil and 45 tonnes of diesel in its tanks. The 18-member crew from the vessel was rescued by the Indian Coast Guard vessel 'ICGS Sankalp'.  

Although there are currently no indications of environmental contamination, the coast guard has confirmed that it has deployed aircrafts to monitor the area and states that it is prepared to handle any situation that may arise. According to local news reports, the owner of the vessel and its insurers have agreed to expadite the salvage operation and have appointed Singapore based Smith and Company.

The causes behind capsizing of the vessel remain unclear at this point, however an investigation is underway.  [20/07/09]

 

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