Ammonia leaked from a ship docked at Mormugao Port on Tuesday afternoon, causing panic in the port and other parts of the town.
Sources said the incident took place at around 11.55 am as the Ship St Oslo, which arrived from Pradip Ghar and carrying liquid ammonia for Paradeep Phospates Limited (PPL), was about to start unloading its cargo at Berth 8.
"There was panic after people working in the port to discharge the cargo realised that there was an ammonia leakage. A fire tender from the Mormugao Port Authority (MPA) and PPL rushed to the site even as the ship started taking steps and the discharge was immediately stopped, thereby helping control the minor ammonia leakage," said the source.
News of the ammonia leakage spread across the port town, with many people raising alarm over safety concerns in the area. Some even called up the fire station to report the matter.
When contacted, Vasco Fire Station incharge Dilip Bicholkar said they got a call at around 12.10 pm that there was an ammonia leakage reported from a ship docked at Berth 8 in the port.
"We rushed to the site and before we could get there, two fire tenders from PPL and MPA were already pressed into service. There was a minor leakage while unloading ammonia cargo from the ship which has been controlled as of now and the discharge from the ship has been stopped temporarily," said Bicholkar.
Meanwhile, a source in the MPA said an investigation is underway into the incident.
"There was a minor issue while the ship commenced operation. The operations were stopped immediately. There are comprehensive SOPs in the ship to address such issues. The pumping operation is stopped and detailed investigation in progress by ship officials," said the source.