Written by Zulfick Farzan
17 Sep, 2020 | 6:43 pm
Colombo (News 1st); Summons was issued on the Captain of the distressed MT New Diamond Crude Oil Tanker to appear at the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court on the 28th of September.
Colombo Additional Magistrate Priyantha Liyanage issued a summons after considering the facts presented to the court by Deputy Solicitor General Dileepa Peiris, who represented the Attorney General and stated the Captain and crew of the MT New Diamond had abandoned ship when the fire broke out while transporting Crude Oil from Kuwait to India, and their irresponsible actions resulted in a disastrous situation.
DSG Peiris also informed the court the Criminal Investigations Department had requested to record statements from the Captain of New Diamond who was named as a suspect, and the crew with regard to the ongoing investigations, however on the instructions of a certain law firm, the request had been turned down.
Therefore, the Criminal Investigations Department is compelled to record statements from the Captain and Crew of MT New Diamond based on a court order, said the Deputy Solicitor General.
The Additional Magistrate issued summons noting the Captain of the MT New Diamond, who was named as a suspect, had failed to cooperate with the on-going investigations.
Deputy Solicitor General Dileepa Peiris further said the Government Analyst’s Department report confirmed the Crude Oil stored aboard MT New Diamond had not leaked, however, a portion of the 1700 metric tons of diesel required for the use of the tanker had leaked into the ocean creating an oil slick covering an area with a diameter of 02 nautical miles surrounding the distressed Crude Oil Tanker.
DSG Peiris said such a situation poses a serious threat to Sri Lanka.
The MT New Diamond crude oil tanker was transporting 270,000 metric tons of crude oil from the port of Meena Al Ahmadi in Kuwait to the Port of Paradip in India when a fire broke out aboard in the eastern seas of Sri Lanka on 03rd September 2020 at around 0800 hrs.
The ship was sailing 38 nautical miles off Sangamankanda Point when it caught fire with an explosion in a boiler in the ship’s main engine room.
The distressed oil tanker in eastern seas was manned by 23 crew members including 5 Greeks and 18 Philippine nationals.
It was also reported that 1700 metric tons of diesel required for the use of the tanker is also stored onboard.
MT New Diamond is a 20-year old crude oil tanker that is 333 meters long and 60 meters wide, and sailed with a Japanese certificate and is registered in Panama.
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