KPT contains oil spill from stranded ship
KARACHI: Port authorities have siphoned some 16,000 tons of crude oil off a Greek-registered oil tanker that ran aground off the coast of Karachi, but tens of thousands of tons of additional crude oil remain aboard the stricken ship, port officials said on Monday.
The operation to remove the oil began last week, almost two weeks after the tanker ran aground during monsoon rains.
An oil tanker from the United Arab Emirates, a tugboat from Dubai carrying submarine pumps, hoses and other equipment, and a boat from Sri Lanka were assisting in the operation.
Brig Iftikhar Arshad, general manager at the Karachi Port Trust, said a very small quantity of crude oil had leaked during the operation, but not enough to cause environmental problems.
Local media reports, however, said the spilled crude was polluting the coastline and spreading a bad smell in the area. A local news channel, reported the crude was leaking from two tanks of the grounded vessel.
Arshad denied that, saying the crude that had spilled leaked out when a second vessel was transporting oil off the ship. He did not say how much oil had spilled.
Arshad said officials were discussing measures to limit any pollution along the coastline.
The rescue operation is being conducted perilously close to a popular sea resort, Sea View, in Karachi.
The tanker, MT Tasmin Spirit got stuck when monsoon rains and high tide caused it to drift on July 27. It was carrying 62,000 tons of crude for Pakistan Refinery Ltd. and was chartered by Pakistan National Shipping Corp. The accident didn’t effect operations at the port. —AP