The oil tanker New Diamond has been on fire in the Indian Ocean off the east coast of Sri Lanka for the second day in a row.

The fire that started in the engine room on Thursday morning spread to the deck of the ship.

The ship is carrying about 2 million barrels of crude oil, but the fire has not progressed to the hold, according to the Sri Lankan navy.

One barrel corresponds to about 159 liters.

A tanker burning in flames roared spectacularly off Sri Lanka. Photo: Sri Lanka Air Force Media / Zuma / MVPhotos

At the moment, there does not seem to be a danger of oil spilling into the sea as the fire raging in the stern of the ship has been brought under control.

"The flames have been extinguished and only smoke is now rising from the ship," Rear Admiral YN Jayarathna, who is leading the rescue operations, said at a press conference, according to Reuters.

The Sri Lankan Meteorological Department modeled a scenario where 70,000 tons of crude oil would end up in the sea.

According to the authorities, this would not have an immediate impact on the Sri Lankan coast.

"However, if this were to happen, it would be a huge environmental disaster," Dharshani Lahandapura, director of the Sri Lankan Marine Environment Protection Agency, told Reuters.

A fire from the engine room spread to the deck of the ship.Photo: Sri Lanka Air Force Media / Zuma / MVPhotos

The tanker had 23 crew members, five of whom were Greeks and the rest Filipinos.

One Filipino sailor is believed to have died, the rest of the crew has been evacuated to safety.

One of them is said to have been injured and has been flown to the city of Colombo for hospital treatment.

More than a dozen ships have taken part in the rescue operation and help has also been received from the Russian and Indian fleets.

In addition to putting out the fire, the tanker has been towed farther into the open sea as it began to drift towards the coast.

Currently, the vessel is located about 35 kilometers off the coast of Sri Lanka.

Russian and Indian navies have helped with rescue efforts.Photo: Sri Lanka Air Force Media / Zuma / MVPhotos

The fire has been isolated at the stern of the ship, so it should not spread into the hold. Image: Sri Lanka Air Force Media / Zuma / MVPhotos

According to Rear Admiral YN Jayarathna, who is leading the rescue operation, the fire has been brought under control and the flames have been extinguished. Photo: Akila Jayawardana / Zuma / MVPhotos

Article corrected 4.9.

at 23.02.

Specified the ship's cargo will be about 2 million barrels of crude oil.

Earlier in the article was written about 273 tons.