A salvage team is still trying to plug a fuel leak from the fire-stricken New Diamond oil supertanker, Sri Lankan Navy spokesman Indika de Silva said on Friday.
The Greek-owned tanker, which is carrying about 2 million barrels of oil, caught fire on September 3 and is currently 45 nautical miles (83 km), off Sri Lanka’s east coast.
The fire has been extinguished but the New Diamond has left two long trails of fuel oil after the Sri Lankan Navy towed it out to sea.
Authorities want to avoid damage to the coastline like that suffered by Mauritius after the Japanese bulk carrier MV Wakashio struck a coral reef off the Indian Ocean island on July 25 and began spilling oil on August 6.
“Salvage operations are continuing. The engine room has been de-smoked. They have identified the bunker oil tank that is leaking. The next step is to empty it and then to repair the leak,” de Silva said.
He confirmed that the cargo of crude oil remains intact.
The stricken vessel has raised fears of an environmental disaster.