Mumbai harbour reopens after five days
Moneylife Digital Team 12 August 2010

Mumbai: Mumbai harbour reopened for traffic today, five days after it was suspended following a collision between two cargo ships that led to an oil spill, with the Indian Navy escorting 12 freighters in and out of the port reports PTI.

The traffic resumed after the Coast Guard and other agencies involved in salvage efforts cleared the navigational channel of containers that were adrift after falling off Panamanian vessel MSC Chitra, which ran aground as a result of the Saturday crash.

"The Indian Navy commenced escorting a convoy of merchant ships to and out of Mumbai port from 1000 hours," defence spokesman captain M Nambiar told PTI.

"Seven ships have been escorted out of the harbour while five are being escorted into the harbour," he said.

The freighters were given aerial assistance in navigating the sea by a helicopter while a minesweeper ship with two survey boats equipped with sonar scanners ensured that the channel was clear for the convoy, he said.

The ships were trailed by the Indian Naval Ship `Matanga', he said.

Two merchant vessels MSC Chitra and MV Khalijia III had collided off the Mumbai coast on Saturday. The hull of MSC Chitra loaded with 1,219 containers was breached leading to the oil slick. Of the 1,219 containers, over 250 were believed to have slipped into the sea.

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