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Suit filed over oil tanker capsize

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A Correspondent Bagerhat: The Forest Department on Wednesday filed a 100 crore compensation suit against the owners of the two vessels responsible for Tuesday‘s oil tanker capsize in the Shela River, causing seriously spillage of oil over a huge area of the Sundarbans, threatening its flora and fauna, mainly the aquatic animals. The two vessels are OT Southern Star 7’ and ‘Total Cargo. The OT Southern Star 7’ carrying some 3.57 lakh litres of furnace oil sank in the river at Migmari under East Zone of the Sundarbans on Tuesday morning after being hit by a cargo vessel ‘Total Cargo at 5am on Tuesday. The oil tanker that sank is yet to be salvaged. Abul Kalam Azad, Chandpai Eastern range forest official, lodged the compensation suit with Mongla Police Station here in the morning. Meanwhile, the Forest Department also formed a three-member probe committee, headed by Belayet Hossain, the Chandpai range assistant conservator of forest under Sundarban's West Zone, to look into the incident and asses the extent of damage of environment and biodiversity of the Sundarbans due to spillage of 3.57 lkah litres of furnace following the capsize of oil tanker ‘OT Southern Star 7’. The other two members of the inquiry committee are Chandpai Eastern range forest officials Abul Kalam Azad and Kalldad Chandra. After the big hit, seven crewmembers managed to swim ashore while the master of the oil tanker, M Mokhlesur Rahman, still remained missing. Three vessels of MS Harun & Co, the owner of ‘OT Southern Star 7’, launched their own salvage operations in the morning. Meanwhile, two navy ships -- Shah Paran and Akter Uddin -- left Mongla Port around 10:30am for the spot to salvage the oil tanker and remove the spilled oil, said Navy’s Khulna region Commander Monir Mollik. He, however, said the ships are not well-equipped to clear the spilled oil. Divisional Forest Officer Chowdhury Amir Hossain said two other rescue vessels sent from Barisal and Narayanganj are yet to reach 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 of Shela River, Amir Hossain said. He also said oil from capsized vessel also spared to the mangrove forest and different canals and rivers that may wreck havoc on the forest and its wildlife and fish and other aquatic animals. However