At least 10 tonne of diesel has spilled into the Karnaphuli river when an oil tanker hit a lighter vessel after losing its control over the vehicle on early Friday, confirmed Chattogram Port Authority.
Khulna bound oil tanker Desh-1 hit City-38, a lighter vessel, anchored at Padma jetty of the port at around 3 am which led the third tank of the tanker to leakage.
The oil tanker carrying 1250 tonne of diesel was leaving the port after loading the fuel from Dolphin Oil Jetty-4.
"Following the accident, the environment management team of the port authority collected the spilled diesel," said Captain Shafiul Bari, harbour and marine member of Chattogram Port Authority.
The port authority has collected about eight tonne of diesel from the river.
"We have detained the captain and crews of the lighter vessel and handed them over to Bangladesh Coast Guard," added Bari.
They also issued a letter to the department of environment to assess the amount of loss due to the accident.
They used traditional method in collecting the fuel, said Omar Faruk, secretary of the port authority.
The rest of the diesel was immediately transferred to another oil tanker to minimise the loss, said Captain Faridul Alam, deputy conservator of the port authority.
"Such incidents are happening frequently as the environment department is not taking any stern action in this regard," said Prof Idris Ali, a researcher on the Karnaphuli River.
He further said the ecosystem of at least ten kilometers area of the river will be affected by the diesel, it may cause deaths to aquatic animals," he added.
"The oil has spread to 16km areas of Karnaphuli river. During the low tide, the oil reached up to the outer anchorage of the port, which is about six kilometer away from the accident spot. On the other hand, during high tide, oil reached up to Shah Amanat Bridge," said CPA Secretary Omar Faruk.
CPA formed a three-member probe committee led by Captain Abu Sayed Md Kamrul Alam over the incident and asked to submit the report by one week.