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More woe...or concern (!) for India..?

New Delhi - India's western coast faces one of its biggest environment threats as a marooned bulk-carrier could spill nearly 650 tons of furnace oil into the sea, a news report said on Sunday.

The ship, Ocean Seraya, was wrecked on the Oyster Rock lighthouse in the Arabian Sea off Karnataka state's Karwar coast on May 30. The ship split into two and its front keeps crashing into the rear portion which is wedged against a rock, the report said.

Stormy weather has delayed a 15-member team of expert divers and engineers from western Mumbai city and Singapore from launching emergency operations to pump out the oil on board, the Hindustan Times reported.

Coast Guard officials estimated that 20 tons of oil had already spilled into the sea and that the oil slick was nine kilometres from the Karwar coast.

Officials said the beaches and shoreline would be polluted if the spill is not checked.

"If the remaining 650 tons of fuel oil and 40 tons of diesel oil spill into the sea, then there will be a one-inch oil film in the sea and marine life will be endangered, not to mention the communities dependent (on the sea)," the paper quoted a coast guard official as saying.

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