Paradip: Ten years ago to this day, cargo ship MV Black Rose half-filled with wet iron ore sank off the Paradip port. However, in spite of investigations by various agencies, the real reason behind the mishap is yet to surface.
After the mishap, which led to the death of one person, cases were filed at Odisha High Court and Calcutta High Court. The matter has also probed by three investigation agencies, local police, Crime Branch and the CBI. A special committee was also formed by the Ministry of Shipping to probe the matter. But the truth still lies under the water.
It is strange that the agencies have not been able to contact Kok Sitki, owner of Singapore-based Black Rose Maritime Limited. Action has also not been initiated against Sea Trans Private Ltd which was conducting the day to day operations of the ship. The three companies which were exporting iron ore in the ship have all legally changed their names and continuing their businesses.
Last year during the board meeting of the Paradip Port Trust, a decision to hand over the case to the CBI was taken. But even the central investigative agency has not been able to throw light on the matter.
Till two years ago, some portions of the ship were visible. But now it is completely submerged.
It was September 9, 2009 when Black Rose was supposed to be loaded with 42,975MT of iron ore. Half-way through, the loading was stopped because of the wet ores. The ship was asked to wait in one of anchor areas.
The ship after docking, however, tilted to one side and subsequently sank. The port marine department rescued 26 out of the 27 sailors. However, chief engineer Alexandra Ilyushchenko, died in the mishap. His body was fished out after eight days. Later, the ship posed a threat to marine life as oil started leaking, causing water pollution.
Initially, the Marine Police Station here probed the matter. Later the Crime Branch took over the charge and now the ball is in CBI’s court.