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Spectators got a beholding sight when the 27-year-old container ship – the MTT Singapore – ran aground in the Hooghly River near Garchumuk in West Bengal’s Howrah district on Wednesday morning. The container vessel was heading inbound for Netaji Subhash Dock under Kolkata Dock System, near the border with Bangladesh, and was proceeding along the Hooghly River when it experienced a ‘steering failure’.
The authorities took swift action and within hours deployed two tugs which pulled away the stranded ship. It has been successfully refloated and is now securely anchored at Falta, a Kolkata Port official said.
Some local reports are suggesting that the vessel was attempting to pass another ship on the river or possibly trying to avoid a collision when it veered from side to side before becoming firmly wedged into the river mud.
The ship is carrying 338 containers from Port Kelang in Malaysia with 20 crew members from Philippines and Malaysia, led by the Master of the ship Edwin Deen Ramas. The authorities, keeping safety in mind, advised the Master to ensure the containers are securely placed to prevent any potential accidents during the remaining journey. No oil spill was reported and all the crew onboard is safe.
Repairs are underway for the steering, and the container vessel is all set to resume its voyage to the Kolkata dock soon.