Two weeks ago a worker at the Colombo Port operating a transfer crane detected a difference in colour in the diesel being pumped into the crane from a bowser of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC). He pointed this out to the driver of the bowser, who in turn said since the stocks were issued directly from the CPC there was nothing to worry.
However, the CPC worker’s suspicion was confirmed a few hours later when one of the transfer cranes stalled. A few hours later a few more cranes stalled. An inspection of the machines by the engineers revealed that the filters had been damaged due to possible defect in the fuel used.
According to port officials more cranes stalled in the next few days, but no remedial action was taken to prevent the suspected contaminated fuel being used. Finally, as many as 18 cranes were rendered out of action. Except for four the others have been repaired.