Ship starts sinking in Hooghly after collision, crew safe

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

KOLKATA - A container ship was sinking in the Hooghly river Tuesday after colliding with another container vessel in West Bengal’s South 24 Parganas district, police said. The 12 crew members of the ship were safe.

“The container ship - Tiger Spring - after unloading its containers at Kolkata Dock System (KDS) of Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) was going back through Rangaphala channel, while another container vessel - Green Valley - coming from Sandheads in the Bay of Bengal to KDS, hit it in the middle at Nurpur,” said Arun Kumar Bagchi, director, marine department of the port trust.

“The ship was severely damaged and started sinking. But now we are conducting a salvage operation,” Bagchi, who is supervising the operation, told IANS over phone.

The incident had no impact on ship movement to and from KDS as the collision occurred outside the shipping channel.

A senior port trust official, on condition of anonymity, said: “At Sandheads the pilot of ‘Green Valley’ saw ‘Tiger Spring’ was in a horizontal position while manoeuvering and thought that the latter ship would be able to change its position before his ship came near it.”

“But the anticipation of the pilot was wrong and his vessel hit straight in the middle of ‘Tiger Spring’,” said the official.

KoPT Chairman Madan Lal Meena said: “We have sent our officials to the spot to tow the vessel. If the damaged vessel is not removed in time it will sink in the river.”

“The extent of damage to ‘Green Valley’ is not so devastating and it will be brought to the dock for repair. The extent of damage in the other vessel ‘Tiger Spring’ is huge and it will be removed by tomorrow (Wednesday),” Meena told IANS over phone.

“Both the vessels are owned by private companies but as the accident took place within our jurisdiction, we will provide all technical support,” said Meena.

A rescue team was also sent to the spot from East Midnapore district.

East Midnapore Superintendent of Police Ashok Biswas said: “The 12 crew members of the damaged vessel are safe.”

“We have already detained ‘Green Valley’ at Geokhali, under our jurisdiction. But the case will be looked into by the South 24 Parganas police,” Biswas told IANS over phone.

Filed under: Accidents and Disasters

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