A container vessel that was to head to Chittagong in Bangladesh capsized a few minutes after the crew completed loading the cargo at the Kolkata port on Thursday morning.
Several containers on the vessel went into the water while many were floating, said Kolkata Port Trust officials.
The containers in the water were tied with ropes to ensure they did not float away, said officials.
None of the crew members was injured, they said.
The movement of vessels in and out of the port has not been affected but the berth where the vessel was anchored cannot be used for about two weeks now, said officials.
The vessel was still in the berth when it capsized so the crew simply climbed ashore.
The loading of cargo on the vessel, M/v Marine Trust 1, was completed at 9am with 120 containers that were 20 feet-long and 45 containers that were 45 feet-long.
“The vessel with the Bangladesh flag was scheduled to sail on Friday from Netaji Subhas Dock, Kolkata, to Chittagong port, Bangladesh. The crew had completed loading the cargo but after 15 minutes, it capsized,” said a Kolkata Port Trust spokesperson.
“All possible measures are being taken to control the situation and minimise losses,” the port trust spokesperson said.
The vessel might have capsized because of improper loading of cargo, port sources said.
“There is a process of loading cargo that ensures that the balance of the vessel is maintained. If the cargo is not loaded properly then the vessel can capsize,” a port official said.
A probe is being conducted.
“Efforts are on in coordination with the terminal operator, salvage operators and insurance companies to minimise any loss,” said the official.
M/v Marine Trust 1, the 83 metre-long vessel, had come from Bangladesh and was scheduled to return with the cargo, which was being loaded.
Kolkata port sources said the cargo included cotton yarn, insulator and fast-moving consumer goods.
“We will be deploying floating and shore canes to recover the containers from the water. Divers will be deployed, too,” said an official.
He said the salvage operation would start in a day or two.
“It would take at least two weeks to salvage all the containers and the vessel. After that, the berth can be cleared,” he said.
The vessel was anchored at berth number five.
Netaji Subhas Dock has 10 berths. Daily, on an average, there is movement of seven to eight vessels, said an official.
“Except berth number five, the port is working normally on all other berths. The port is following all protocols and compliances mandatory in such situations,” said the port spokesperson.