Sri Lanka is seeking compensation for the damage to its environment caused by an oil spill from a Greek cargo ship.
The New Diamond vessel was travelling from Kuwait to India with 270,000 tonnes of crude oil on board in September last year, when a fire broke out as it passed Sri Lanka’s east coast.
The crude being carried as cargo was unaffected by the blaze but some of the tanker’s fuel leaked into the Indian Ocean.
Last week, Sri Lanka lodged a claim for $17.38 million with the Greek firm Porto Emporios Shipping Inc.
“The Attorney-General forwarded the marine pollution claim for 3,423 million rupees ($17.38 million) to lawyers of the owners of MT New Diamond in respect of the oil spill caused in September,” the office of Sri Lanka’s state prosecutor said in a statement.
Officials said about 400 to 480 tonnes of fuel had leaked from the ship.
The blaze started after an engine room boiler exploded, killing one crew member. The remaining crew of 22, including the skipper, escaped uninjured.
The fire was put out in a joint mission by the Sri Lanka Navy, Sri Lanka Air Force, Sri Lanka Cost guard, the Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guards.