Mumbai oil spill Disaster – MSC Chitra collided with MV Khalijia-III

Posted by on Aug 09, 2010 | 41 Comments

Two Panamanian merchant ships, MSC Chitra and MV Khalijia-III collided on 7th August, Saturday morning at the mouth of the Mumbai harbour. When the collision took place, the MSC Chitra skewed sharply under the collision resulting in an oil spill from the vessels. An environmental disaster is threatening for Mumbai coast and its surrounding coastal areas due to this ship collision.

Mumbai oil spill Disaster - MSC Chitra collided with MV Khalijia-III

When MSC Chitra was sailing towards Mumbai Port Trust (MPT) off Mumbai harbour for berthing, it collided with MV Khalijia-III at the harbour for over a fortnight for repair work, five nautical miles from the shores. No casualties were reported as per Indian Coast Guard (ICG) officials but authorities are closely monitoring the situation because the oil glib is spreading fast. To contain an oil spill off the Mumbai coast, hectic efforts are underway by the Indian Coast Guard.

Mumbai oil spill Disaster - MSC Chitra collided with MV Khalijia-III

MSC Chitra had a cargo of 1219 containers when it collided and the cargo contained 2662 tonnes of fuel, 283 tonnes of diesel and 88040 litres of lubricant oil. MV Khalijia was loaded with 30,000 tons of steel coils during collision. The container vessel MSC Chitra tilted sharply at angle of 45 Degree following the collision and so oil spill is continue to take place. The Regional Operational Centre of the Indian Coast Guard swiftly rushed its ship Kamala Devi to rescue the sailors in the affected merchant vessels on receiving an alert about the accident.

Mumbai oil spill Disaster - MSC Chitra collided with MV Khalijia-III

Around the coast of Mumbai, the aquatic environment is delicate and any oil spill would mean disaster to the marine life and to the fishing community. To avert oil spill, Oil and Natural Gas Commission of India and the Pollution Control Board of Maharashtra has also joined the Indian Coast Gurad in effort. MSC Chitra has already hazardously skewed by 80% and around 200 containers have been floating in a radius of 2 miles. Personals and equipment required for any clean up of the shores due to oil spill have been placed on stand by, said by authorities.

The Indian captain and 32 crew members of Chitra , including two Pakistanis, were rescued following the collision between MSC Chitra, the outbound merchant vessel from Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), and MV Khalijia-III. The ship was grounded in the vicinity of the Prong Reef Lighthouse.

Mumbai oil spill Disaster - MSC Chitra collided with MV Khalijia-III

As the oil slick has spread to the Alibag and Uran area, and also close to Elephanta caves, all coastal districts of Maharashtra are on high alert. Concerns are that it may also affect the mangrove belt along the coastline. It will be tough to contain the oil spill because of tidal conditions as said by coast guards.

Meanwhile, speaking to NDTV Maharashtra CM Ashok Chavan said, “The oil spill was a matter of concern. The forces were doing their best to control it. This is a serious issue and a matter of concern. Things are not fully contained yet. Coast guard and defence are looking into it. The state is doing its level best.”

Mumbai oil spill Disaster - MSC Chitra collided with MV Khalijia-III

Currently, the Mumbai Port is shut for business and fishermen have been asked not to go out. To assess the situation, the Maharashtra government is meeting with all forces involved in rescue efforts on Aug 9, today by 12 noon.

Mumbai Oil spill: MSC Chitra has poor safety record video from Youtube:


  1. A. Captain says:

    I think the information is biased. Clearly the other vessel hit MSC, but since Khalijia is operated by an Indian company, you choose to raise suspicion about MSC Chitri’s safety record. You can simply log in to to see M/V Khalijia’s safety record, detained in 2001 and and 2007.

  2. MOHIT says:


  3. jensi says:

    The robbers of commonwealth games will be happy now as the public focus will be slightly shifted to this disaster now!!

  4. robort says:

    The latest is they sent few boats to collect the containers and while in the channel the rope parted and container sank which is another navigational hazard for navigation, just imagine if the container having dangerous cargo what wl be consiquence of ships passing over it,Clear example of not properly qualified sitting on top and left supervision to boat skipper

  5. nena says:

    when we look at your photographs of the site,we understand that no action has been taken! And if the oil is in containers then the work becomes easier though tough enough because of 10 KM distance from the coast. All the fishing boats immediately could have been pressed for collecting the containers. The cargoes from the ship should have been vacated as swiftly as possible in front of the crews by informing to the owners of the ship. once we allow the oil to spread it will be much difficult job. Possibility of collusion of antinational /anemy hand be also probed since Pak Nationals are also involved. Emergency operation with out loss of time or arial survey etc. Efficient disaster management is the is the need of the hour.

  6. yarmy says:

    This is really a pathetic situation and it happened just 10km before the Mumbai harbour which is not so far. All that is needed to do rent another big ship go along with Cranes and transfer as many containers as it can. God why can’t the politicians think litttle bit logically than always thinking politically. God Save India.

  7. hezal says:

    If somebody investigates what was the oil doing on the vessel, was this Oil reported as Oil in the documents, another scam will surface.

  8. jonny says:

    this seems more fact than fiction. After suicide bomber we now have suicide sailors from porkistan. it has succeeded in its mission to destroy mangroves on indian coast so india is vulnerable to floods in future left unprotected without mangroves. Also damage to ellora caves, the cultural damage to india & damage to lifestyle of indian fishermen who sometimes keep indian shores safe as eyes & ears of india. Also damage to birds, animals & ecology of india.

  9. hena says:

    I think this disaster was deliberately intentionally done by porkistan’s crew members of two panamanian ships. it seems pre planned since porkistanis may be envious of india since porkistan has its worst floods in 80 years. They would want to create a similar disaster in india by hook or crook & blame it on weather.Porkistanis are masters of all things terrorism.

  10. augustin says:

    still no veb site photos and vedios showing imo number of the vessel and what is the age? and what is the cost of acsident? what kind of navigation irror?what i know about msc vessels all about 90% old vessels and they have histery of magicpipe in usa and as per rools all navigational equipments shuld be checked before attampting to the port. hear we seen like india like big contries shortage of effective lows or that is not obay the rools this all spill effect to the poor fishermans in this costal rgion . so geverment shuld take strong desision about this oil spill. and salviation operation and give big fine to the companeys like us costgard doing in usa in us oil spill inside the ship also finable hear.? any way we fishing people hope good desision about this.

  11. A Captain says:

    What nonsense. The oil slick has already reached the shores and mangroves and there is not one single oil pollution prevention boat nor has there been placed any oil booms around the ship. If the oil would drift into Darukahana nobody would see any difference in pollution…

  12. Kumar says:

    Now our plotician will try to politize it and the blamegame will start .

  13. yesin says:

    From the given report by government sources, there seems to be no clear indication of a concrete plan in place to contain the present oil spill malady of the coastal waters of Mumbai which is going to have a long term repercussion to our maritime.The chief minister of Maharashtra has categorically stated that he himself will conduct an ariel survey to look at the accident site which the common citizens are able to witnessing on media / print from day one of the incident that it has taken place,why doesnot the chief minister leave such meagre task to the experts within our country or better seek advices from the ones who are fighting such menaces on daily basis in other countries.When there are other issues that are daunting the present government of Maharashtra,the Mumbai oil spill issue shouldn’t be left in the backburners for a longtime.

  14. jindal says:

    It should be an EYE OPENER for the authorities and regulators because just a few tons of oils spill is damaging and creating lot of problems for the ports,fishermen,marine life and many more but GOD forbid if tomorrow something as big of the scale of BP oil spill happens in the Indian waters it will be a COLOSSAL LOSS for the country, its economy and its ecology so the media should ask if the government is prepared for such an eventuality even in their dreams, companies like reliance industries,ongc and other such oil companies who are engaged in explorations of oil and gas in high seas should be monitored and stringent rules and regulations should be in place and there should not be a cap on the liabilities of such disasters because the companies will easily get away by paying a fine which may be pea nuts in comparison to the nature of the catastrophe, the media should play a role so that the government drafts a policy to cover the liabilities of such an eventuality.

  15. harit says:

    Wondering if your media would have covered had not been after the Louisiana Gulf spill ?? Get some sense guys!! you are powerful media of a very powerful country in world now. Just make it sink and give it thought.

  16. binit says:

    The Maha government, its pollution control board, the police administration and the enviromentalists have all wasted first two days of precious time. These machineries have been known to keep whiling away time and have been indulging in making a quick buck of the industries by way way of ” raids “…such that when it comes to doing their real job, they are caught napping ! The idea of unloading containers from the ill-fated ship should have occured to them as a common sense measure ! They have created more complications by allowing the containers to slip and fall and carried to the shores. What about some containers having hazardous chemicals that have reached the rock bottom of the sea? They have created a big issue by delaying actions! First two days all these fellows were indulging in only booking the captains for rash navigation ! SLUGGISH AND LETHARGIC ADMINISTRATION !…NO WONDER THE 26/11 TERROR ATTACK TOOK PLACE IN MUMBAI !

  17. vipin says:

    About the only way to offload containers into small boats offshore is to have a specially designed ship called a LASH – Lighter Aboard Ship. LASH works best with underdeveloped harbors. Otherwise you are being inefficient compared to a container ship berthed at a proper container loading dock.

  18. sarika says:

    With the kind of traffic that the port is seeing now, we must be prepared to handle such accidents with minimum collateral damage. In this incident it appears almost as if all the concerned authorities are doing is to provide day to day updates on how much the vessel is sinking and how much oil has leaked. My question is that why could we not pump out all the oil knowing fully well that the vessel is incapacitated. Why could containers on the vessel not be unloaded immediately after the accident when the vessel was still afloat?? There has been negligence or indifference simply lack of understanding of the solutions that could have been applied to mitigate the collateral damage.

  19. Niru says:

    it’s a big environmental disaster….i think Govt. has get the one more option to increase the petrol/diesel prices next month….. …

  20. aryan says:

    Instead of blaming other parties why can not Mumbai port authorities reduce the load by downloading the containers into small ships or boats? This may save at least some of the cargo and make it easy to float back the tilting ship. Or are the MPA just watch the ship go down and spill more oil?

  21. ayesha says:

    I think Mr. Muhammad Javed Iqbalq for his concern over the oil spill
    near Mumbai. But I am surprised that he has not botrhered to make a
    post on the devastating floods that is ravaging his home country,

    And as for Mumbai, it is far more at risk from dregs of Pakistani
    society as 26/11 had so vividly demonstrated. I am surprised that
    Muhammad Javed has not once expressed concern over the pollution
    problem to Mumbai from homegrown dregs of Pakistani society formed
    under the toxic tutelage of the Taliban and the Al Qaeda.

  22. jeni says:

    mumbai can not afford a spill like this. why isn`t advise been obtained from the giant bp who have at long last managed to control their spill in america although the amount spilled is lot smaller.
    what is needed now is for an international company to be formed with contributions from all the oil companies, hence when an accident happens the company can jump into action without wasteing time. come on major oil companies etc form a company. after all you make a lot of money in satifying our oil needs now you can do someting to protect our enviroment as well

  23. debina says:

    Oil men, legal and Nationally backed crack salesmen. Its sad that at this stage we are so dependent on such a destructive resource. There are so many other solutions within our capability to provide, however to provide them would only end the income of those few men that profit for this addiction of the World.

  24. vaishali naik says:

    please be informed that oil is not in the container, it is fuel of vessel which is leaking

  25. firoz says:

    Is mumbai port authority is watching live show of the ship sinking,at least the local salvage company can do something,hour after hour it will be more difficilt.

  26. amit says:

    mr. hezal just want to ask will u push that sweety MSC CHITRA if there is no oil on the ship……
    cm on guyz if u r not a shippy please dont take ur mind on a morning walk .its not your cup of tea
    and as far as accident is concerned i would say yes it was an absolute mistake of both the vessels and both owners should be charged for it and
    those who r saying government is not doing anything its not true
    they r completely into it
    and if u have nt been to sea u will never realise the situtaion of working in choppy seas that too in indian ocean i monsoon season… hard feelings for anyone .just wanna say dont utter just anything if u dont have an idea about it ……i am 2nd mate in merchant navy

  27. manu says:

    upload some more pics pllllllllllllzzzzzzzzzzzz

  28. yamraj says:

    Nice pics keep up the good work !!!

  29. Used Boats says:

    this has been happen just because of mishandling & lack of proper communication from Captain of MSC Chitra as m sure vsl has not reach at that must speed from they can’t make up this that, & happing this kind of accident on without rainy day. its very shame on MSC vsl as they have not taken proper care of that much facility on his Vsl.

  30. 13jancapri says:

    hello frnds… i was there in the anchorage and i have seen the collision happening visually + on Ecdis & even heard them in VHF and i would blame both the masters for not following the ROR and instead wasting there time on shitty busy VHFs .And to add up weather was not a problem it was a clear shiny morning…
    I feel ashame n sad, as MPT took 3 days to send boats for clearing up the containers as for them sunday holiday was precious more thn our coast.
    the boats which really helped and were straight in action are VAMSEE3, MERMAID1
    hats off to these guys they were round the clock working hard to contain the follow of containers as well as to tow or assist MSC chitra from getting grounded withthout the help of Mumbai port authority. one more thing i would like to clarify is the Oill spill didnt just happend because of a collision, it happend coz MSC chitra grounded even after repetetive calling from Mumbai VTS about the Shallow water ahead.

  31. tarang ghosh says:

    in a way it was good the msc chitra grounded otherwise it could have sunk putting all the fuel, lives and cargo at risk…very difficult for a vessel to stay afloat after that kind of breach….probably msc chitra could have taken some avoiding action but very difficult as khalijia-3 turned to port like a lunatic…my ship was also nearby…..and khalijia-3 was saying ‘msc, msc..turn to port….how one is supposed to know…there was another msc vessel nearby also…

  32. bhattsuresh says:

    can isee more pic on accident

  33. silent observer says:

    It is a normal practice for all the ports in the world to be well equipped and trainned for proper diaster management and emergency response but it is very strange to see the poor response on our indian coasts. They have definately displayed a lack in professionalism. Yes the ships are to be blamed but our pollution prevention was pathetic.

  34. silent obsever says:

    cud u guys please post the pic of the BA Charts of this position so we cud see th width and depth of the channel along with the pilot dropping point.

  35. jagrut says:

    Is oil the only thing that pollutes the coast in Mumbai??. The Marine Pollution convention prevents sailors from pollutting the following: Oil, Noxious Liquid Sub, Harmful Sub,SEWAGE,GARBAGE,AIR and ballast water….are the citizens of mumbai ALSO careful about the above???? which coast are we talking about the one which we pollute day in and out

  36. tarang ghosh says:

    the channel is only 2 cables (300 something metres) wide. MSC Chitra was keeping to the centre of the channel in order to keep clear of a dredger on its starboard (right) side. K-3 was outside the channel on the port side and then he swerved to the left to collide into the chitra. Chitra was at all times moving to stbd. Just because K-3 did not leak any oil does not make him less guilty…in fact he is the culprit

  37. tarang ghosh says:

    a cop and a reported died just trying to watch the tamasha….can you imagine how hard it is to lay oil booms and recover containers in the monsoons…is life not more precious?

  38. silent observer says:

    yes life is very precious and there are certain safety procedures to be followed when one is out at sea….authorities on duty should be trained and drills should be carried out on regular basis….hence the cop should have been on duty working with his head not just watching the so called TAMASHA

  39. Samuel D'Cunha says:

    i want some more photos and information of MSC CHITRA.
    because, I am a shipping student and I’m doing a project on this.

    can any1 help me please

    my email is

  40. shanky says:

    there is only the reason of collision not follow the ROR.the reason of collision goes to duty watchkeeper of both ships msc chitra n mv khalijia 3

  41. a cadet says:

    plz have the video of the collision………..

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