A spill that released 2 tonnes of oil into the sea, just north of Chennai, was reported on Sunday, raising concerns of a repeat of last year's crisis that took a mammoth effort to clean up and damaged the area's ecology.
The oil spill took place at the Kamarajar Port in Ennore, around 20 km from Chennai. The same area had suffered a major oil spill when two cargo ships ran into each other in January 2017.
Sunday's accident took place after a flexible hose used to transfer oil snapped. Authorities claim that the oil spill recovery works has been initiated and will be over by tomorrow. The tanker involved is called MT Coral Stars.
Officials from Indian Coast Guard and Mercantile Marine Department (MMD) were also monitoring the situation.
"The oil tanker Coral Stars was discharging fuel on Sunday morning. Suddenly one of its flexible pipes broke resulting in a small amount of oil spill on the berth and around the ship," P. Raveendran, the port's Chairman and Managing Director said.
He added that, "Skimmers were being used to remove the oil from the water. We feel 80 per cent of spilled oil has been contained within the boom and have not spread out."
Oil discharge was stopped immediately and booms - floating barriers used to contain spills - were deployed around the oil tanker to prevent the spread.