A joint team of several agencies was formed on Tuesday to locate and salvage containers that have sunk in the Arabian Sea due to the collision between two cargo ships, MV Khalijia 3 and MSC Chitra, off the Mumbai coast on 7 August. (See: Mumbai oil spill clean-up to take at least a month)
Reports said the joint team will have officials from the Indian Navy, Mumbai Port Trust, marine police, Coast Guard and the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), among others. "We have also set up two helplines which will be connected to all the coastal police stations for better coordination,'' said Quaisar Khalid, deputy commissioner of police (port zone).
The Yellow Gate police on Tuesday completed recording statements of captains of the two cargo ships. "We are in the process of verifying the statements and are yet to reach a conclusion,'' said Khalid.
The police are yet to ascertain what led to the collision. A case under the Environment Protection Act was registered against the authorities of the two vessels and sections of the Indian Penal Code were added in the FIR.
The police are now awaiting details of the Vehicle Traffic Management System from both the vessels.
It is learnt that hydrographic ships of the navy will start surveying the sea from Wednesday. "The hydrographic ships have sonar equipment which can locate the sunk containers through sound waves,'' said a police official.
Khalijia, which was under repair for over two weeks, was returning to the shore while Chitra was outbound.