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Sunken oil tanker yet to be salvaged

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A Correspondent Khulna: The oil tanker that sank in the Shela River at Joymonigol under East Zone of the Sundarbans on Tuesday morning is yet to be salvaged. The tanker carrying some 3.57 lakh litres of furnace oil plunged in the river after being hit by a cargo vessel losing direction for fog-caused poor visibility. The tanker with the master on board went deep into the river. Divisional Forest Officer Chowdhury Amir Hossain said two rescue vessels sent from Barisal and Narayanganj have not yet reached the spot. All 3.57 lakh litres of oil spilled out of the tanker into the river over an area extending up to 15 to 20 kilometres, Amir Hossain said, adding possible contamination from the oil spillage has kept the aquatic animals and herbs at risk. M Giasuddin, managing director of Harun & Co, owning firm of the sunken oil tanker, said the empty cargo trawler, Total Cargo, rammed into their vessel 'OT Southern Star 7, from behind as it was anchored at Joymonigol around 5am due to poor visibility caused by dense fog, creating cracks at the bottom of the deck . Later, the vessel, heading towards Gopalganj, capsized in the river quickly as water poured into it through the cracks. Seven crewmembers who were on board the tanker managed to swim ashore, but its master, Mokhlesur Rahman, 45, still remained missing, said Giasuddin. He said the oil tanker sailed for Goplagnj on Monday afternoon from Khulna Padma Oil Company depot to supply the oil to a power station there, but its master was forced to anchor it at Joymonigol around 9pm due to poor visibility caused by the thick fog.