Fire Stricken Box Ship SSL Kolkata Sits Aground
Responders are facing challenging monsoon season conditions as they work to salvage a containership that caught fire and grounded in the in the Bay of Bengal last month.
The stricken containership SSL Kolkata remains aground in soft mud some 7.5 nautical miles off the Indian Sunderbans, Kolkata, West Bengal, after an explosion in one of the containers lit a fire on board the vessel on June 13.
An oil spill response team from OSRL has arrived on scene and is the process of managing the counter pollution operations as responders battle challenging weather conditions, according to Shreyas Shipping and Logistics Limited, operators of the stricken ship. Various local smaller vessel crews are also on scene to more easily approach the site of the vessel at its grounded position.
The salvors Smit have mobilized the SMIT Borneo platform, which is currently en route to the casualty site to assist with the removal of the remaining bunker, cargo and debris.
The Indian flagged SSL Kolkata was sailing from Krishnapatnam in Andhra Pradesh to Kolkata when a fire broke out due to an explosion in one of the containers. The crew, which stayed on board to battle the fire, was forced to evacuate due to the intensity of the blaze. All 22 crew members were rescued by the Indian Coast Guard and unharmed.
The vessel, which went adrift and later grounded, has developed a list to starboard, with the deck now part submerged.
Responders have been working to remove the ship’s bunker fuel and cargo in an effort to minimize potential pollution. A specialist clean-up contractor Le Floch Depollution has been retained and is currently on site in the event of an oil leakage.