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01 Aug 2013   08:17:23 AM   Thursday BdST A- A A+ Print this E-mail this

Oil spillage causing serious pollution to Karnaphuli river

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Spillage of huge quantity of furnace oil from derailed rail tank wagons was causing serious water pollution in the Karnaphuli river in the port city Wednesday.

 

The spilled furnace oil is finding way into the river through a small canal – Brick Field Canal, located beside the railway truck at Kalurghat on the other bank of the Karnaphuli.

 

Mentionable, six rail tank wagons derailed beside the canal immediate after crossing the Karnaphuli river through Kalurghat Bridge on way to Dohazari Peaking Power Plant in Chandanaish upazila in the district at around 12:45pm on Tuesday.

 

Three of the wagon tanks turned upside down completely, causing spillage of two-thirds quantity of furnace oil in each of them. Three others also got tilted, causing some 20 precent oil spill.

 

Some 60,000 litres of furnace oil is feared to have been spilled from the upside down tank wagons each with carrying capacity of 33,000 litres.

 

The spilled oil was mixing into the water of the karnaphuli after flowing some one kilometer through the Brick Bield Canal since Tuesday afternoon. It spread over vast area of the river at Kalurghat Bridge. Pollution of the water was also causing death of fishes and damages of aquatic lives there.

 

Both sides of the canal turned black due to oil spillage while some dead fishes were also seen floating in the canal on Wednesday.

 

The oil spillage would pose great threat to aquatic lives and biodiversity, said Professor Edris Ali - a teacher of Chittagong Government College carrying out research on the river Karnaphuli since long.

 

It also may have a long time impact on the river and the environment, he said.   

 

The oil spillage created further concerned since the Mohora water treatment plant of Chittagong WASA is located a few Kilometres off the Kalurghat Bridge.

 

Department of Environment (DoE) Senior Chemist Jamir Uddin said that they could know about the spillage on Wednesday afternoon and preparing to send an investigation team there on Thursday.

 

DoE would take steps against those responsible for the accident and oil spillage after investigation, he said.

 

Bangladesh Railway (East) authority formed a three-member committee headed by Divisional Traffic Officer (DTO) Zakir Hossain to probe into the accident. The committee was asked to submit report within three days.

 

Admitting pollution of water due to the oil spillage DTO Zakir Hossain said that there was a restriction on movement of relief train due to bad shape of track in that area. Besides, railway track and slippers were also damaged in the accident delaying arrival of relief train. However, a relief train went there and started rescue operation on Wednesday afternoon.

The rescue operation was expected to be completed by Thursday morning, he said.

July 31, 2013

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