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Chennai oil spill: Coast Guard, volunteers toil as clean-up-nears completion

Five days after two ships collided near the Kamarajar Port in Chennai triggering an oil spill, CNN-News 18 reported that 70 percent of the sludge had been cleaned up and the rest is expected to be removed by Thursday evening.

Efforts to clean up the oil spill continue. (Network18)

Efforts to clean up the oil spill continue. (Network18)

More than 50 tonnes of sludge were removed by the pollution response team of the Indian Coast Guard and another 20 tonnes were estimated to be floating along the coast, according to a report in The Times of India. Locals, volunteers and the Coast Guard carried out round-the-clock cleaning operations and super suction pumps had been deployed to clean up the spill, the media reported.

NDTV reported that boulders were blocking the shore along the beach near Ennore, a Chennai suburb, obstructing waves from washing the oil to shore. M A Bhaskharachar, Chairman of the Kamarajar Port told the media that they had tried all kinds of technology and found out that manual cleaning was the only one that was succeeding, Financial Express reported.

Those who had been working to clean the oil spill were being exposed to toxic chemicals even though labour standards mandate that those working in hazardous environments be made aware of the possible health risks. Scientists have found dangerous levels of hydrocarbon deposits along the coast, Times of India reported.

DMK leader and Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi, raising the issue in the Upper House, said that the ecosystem had been damaged and they didn't have trained professionals to manage such situations which were slowing down cleaning efforts, The Hindu reported.


Published Date: Feb 02, 2017 17:06 PM | Updated Date: Feb 02, 2017 17:06 PM

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