South Asia

Battle to contain India oil spill

MSC Chitra on 8 August 2010
Image caption Up to 300 fuel containers from the stricken MSC Chitra have reportedly fallen into the sea

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has ordered an investigation into an oil spill caused by a collision between two cargo ships off Mumbai on Saturday.

The Indian navy and coast guard are still trying to contain the leak from the stricken MSC Chitra.

It is tilting at least 75 degrees since the crash with a Panamanian cargo ship, the MV Khalijia-III.

The Chitra was carrying about 1,200 containers, which had nearly 270 tonnes of fuel, say officials.

Up to 400 of the containers have fallen into the sea.

On Monday, the prime minister ordered the shipping ministry to find out what caused the incident off the western Indian coast.

"We are trying to contain the leak as far as possible," Maharashtra state Chief Minister Ashok Chavan told the news agency Press Trust of India.

The coast guard is using several ships and two helicopters spraying oil dispersant in an effort to limit the spill.

Thirty-three crew members were rescued following Saturday's collision in the Arabian Sea.

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