Salvage team on board fire-ravaged merchant vessel

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Kolkata, June 19 (IANS) A salvage team went on board merchant vessel SSL Kolkata on Monday for the first time since the fire fighting operation in the ship to make an assessment of the situation created by the June 14 blaze, a Defence Ministry spokesperson said.

The team was taken on board ICGS RajKiran from Haldia and transferred onto the Platform support vessel Lewek Alatair. On reaching a safe distance from MV SSL Kolkata, the members of the salvage team were lowered onto a yet smaller boat that too then alongside the ship.

The members spent some time on board MV SSL Kolkata and returned to the platform support vessel, the spokesperson said.

The Coast Guard’s Dornier helicopter, which was operating overhead all this while, reported very little smoke still emanating from the distressed vessel.

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Inspector General Kuldeep Singh Sheoran, the Coast Guard’s regional commander here, said an additional salvage team from Holland will land in Kolkata on Wednesday morning and its members would be taken on board a Coast Guard ship to MV SSL Kolkata for further management of salvage operations.

No Coast Guard personnel boarded the ship along with the salvage team.

Meanwhile, the Indian Air Force MI 17 helicopter that had been holding position at Frasergunj returned to Barrackpore without carrying out any further Bambi bucket operation.

On Sunday, the ministry had announced that the fire had been extinguished.

–IANS

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