Sunderbans flora, fauna under fresh threat as fertilizer ship sinks

Sunderbans flora, fauna under fresh threat as fertilizer ship sinks


A cargo vessel carrying potash fertilizer capsized in the Bhola River at Swarankhola Range of the Sundarbans East Zone.
Amir Hossain Chowdhury, Divisional Forest Officer of the Sundarbans East Zone, has said that the cargo vessel – ‘Jabalenoor’ – ran aground at a char in the river on Sunday and began sinking on Tuesday noon as the keel of the cargo got fractured when two rescue vessels tried to move the cargo during high tides.

“Water of the canals and the river over a vast area near the capsize spot has taken a red hue because of the dissolution of the chemical fertilizer,” he said adding that the cargo was carrying 200 tonnes of potash fertilizer.
The DFO noted that as the cargo sank during the high tide, the chemical fertilizer has spread across a vast area of the mangrove forest and will endanger the wildlife.
However, the impact on wildlife cannot be predicted yet, he noted.
Steps have been taken to remove the fertilizer of the sunken cargo to another one to prevent further dissolution.
Meanwhile, two private rescue vessels have already reached the spot but they are yet to begin their operation due to strong tidal current.
Abdul Malek, master of one of the rescue vessels, said they reached the spot on information that the cargo got stuck to a char, but the cargo began to sink as its keel was fractured in the middle due to the tidal wave. – UNB


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