New Diamond VLCC blaze extinguished

The fire onboard New Shipping’s New Diamond VLCC off Sri Lanka’s eastern waters was finally extinguished, nearly 79 hours after the incident was reported, the Sri Lankan navy said on Sunday.

The ship was carrying 270,000 tonnes of crude oil from Kuwait to India and caught fire on Thursday when a boiler in the engine room exploded, killing one Filipino seafarer.

“Nearly 79 hours after the distress was reported, the Sri Lanka Navy and other stakeholders were able to bring the fire under control at around 3.00 pm Sunday,” the navy said in a statement.

Dry chemical powder sacks tested by the Sri Lanka Air Force proved successful in smothering the blaze.

A Singapore-based salvage firm is now working with the ship’s owner to work out what to do with the burnt ship.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


  1. I am astonished by the ferocity of that engine room fire. I have not seen heavy fuel oil burn with such intensity in fifty years.

    1. Same here but have to take into account of the large quantities of Lube oils & Diesel available for use in the engine room which may stoke the fire.

      It is unfortunate that there is one death arising from this incident, hope there would be closure for his family and colleagues. Glad to hear that the rest are safe and that the situation did not deteriorate further

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