SINGAPORE, Two tankers collided off the coast of Singapore on Tuesday, causing a liquefied butane gas leak, said the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA).

The collision occurred at 2.30am about one nautical mile south of Tuas Extension in Singapore waters.

The Singapore-registered LPG tanker, Crystal Sunrise, was picking up its pilot near the designated western pilot boarding ground when it collided with the westbound Greece-registered tanker Astro Saturn.

The collision damaged the Crystal Sunrise's ballast tank, causing its butane cargo to start leaking from one of the cargo tanks, while the Astro Saturn sustained damage to its port anchor and bow.

Though an estimated 1,796 metric tonnes of butane gas had leaked, MPA said any leaked butane, which has a high evaporation rate, would have been carried southward away from mainland Singapore, where most of it would have rapidly dissipated to below flammable levels within an hour and pose no risk to shipping.

No injuries have been reported, but eight PSA Marine staff who were in the vicinity of the collision have received medical check-ups at the National University Hospital, and all of the crew have since been discharged.

MPA is investigating the incident.

The Straits of Singapore and Malacca are one of the world's busiest sea lanes and has seen some high-profile incidents recently such as US Navy ship John S McCain colliding with an oil tanker resulting in the deaths of 10 US sailors last August.

In September last year, five crew members died after a dredger and a tanker collided in Singapore waters.

On Monday, the Agency for Science, Technology and Research's (A*STAR) Institute of High Performance Computing, Singapore Management University (SMU) and Fujitsu announced that they are in the process of developing predictive tech to prevent ship collisions.

Source: NAM News Network