Quang Nam faces oil spill from blazing tanker
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The central Quang Nam province authorities are coordinating with relevant agencies to cope with a possible oil spill after an oil tanker burst into flames off the province’s coast yesterday.
The crew of the blazing tanker are taken ashore safely Photo: Tuoi Tre
Phuong Nam Star oil tanker blazed up 20 nautical miles away from the Cham Islands at 11:40 am yesterday while it was transporting 5,600 cubic meters of diesel from the Dung Quat Port in Quang Ngai Province to the port city of Hai Phong, Quang Nam authorities reported.
The 19-member crew and three others aboard the tanker were rescued by a cargo boat that had received the SOS signals from the tanker, the authorities said.
The fire first broke out in the cabin before spreading to other areas, the crew said, adding that they had activated the fire extinguishing system but could not subdue the violent flame.
The fire could be caused by a short circuit that exploded the boat’s oil steamer, said the vessel’s captain, Tran Dong Phong.
As the tanker may explode any time, the Border Guard Command has sent two boats to the scene to warn other vessels from entering the dangerous area.
The provincial People’s Committee has asked for help from the Oil Spill Response Center and the National Search and Rescue Center, said Dinh Van Thu, deputy chairman of the committee.
If an oil spill occurs, it will seriously contaminate the waters of the province and create harmful effects on the Cham Islands, a world biosphere reserve, Thu said.