About two million barrels of crude oil in route to India is at risk after an explosion and fire Thursday morning in the engine room of a tanker adrift off the coast of Sri Lanka, the Sri Lankan Navy reports.
New Diamond, a Panamanian registered crude carrier measuring 330 meters in length, reported an explosion and fire about 40 miles from Sri Lanka’s east coast. Thick smoke is rising from the ship’s funnel, witnesses report.
“Fire is still in the engine room and hasn’t spread out,” Sri Lanka Navy spokesman Indika de Silva told Bloomberg News.
Vessels from the Sri Lanka Navy and the Indian Coast Guard are in route to the scene. A second oil tanker is also being pressed into service.
The tanker was chartered by the Indian Oil Corporation, traveling from Kuwait to the Indian port of Paradip. It was scheduled to arrive Friday.