The oil spill near Chennai, caused by the collision of two cargo ships- MT BW Maple carrying liquefied petroleum gas and MT Dawn Kanchipuram, with petroleum oil lubricants on board – on Saturday, has led to the spilling of at least 20 tonnes of oil, according to the Coast Guards.

The collision between the two cargo ships took place outside Tamil Nadu’s Kamarajar Port on Saturday morning at 4 AM.

Initially, the Kamarajar Port on Saturday said that there was no damage to the environment due to the collision and enquiry was ordered. Three days later, on Tuesday, Tamil Nadu fisheries minister D Jayakumar claimed that one tonne of oil had spilled.

So far, around 15 tonnes of oil has been cleansed and 3 “super suckers” truck mounted machines have also been deployed at the site to disperse the spill and to check the damage.

According to experts, the spill has resulted in leakage of Benzene in the sea water of the area that can have extremely dangerous implications on marine life like whales and turtles and also the likely loss of habitat along the coastline.

It was reported that workers were manually cleaning the 30 km of the coastline that has been affected by the sludge. The spill has also affected the sale of fish in the area.