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Gibraltar says heavy oil leaking into sea from cargo ship

DW logo DW 01/09/2022

A bulk freighter grounded off Gibraltar is leaking heavy fuel oil into the Mediterranean Sea. The ship collided with a liquefied gas tanker earlier this week.

The half-sunken ship started to leak oil from its tanks after its hull broke © HM Government of Gibraltar/AP/dpa/picture alliance The half-sunken ship started to leak oil from its tanks after its hull broke

Gibraltar's government on Thursday said a stricken bulk carrier had leaked a small amount of heavy fuel oil into the sea, three days after it hit a liquefied gas tanker.

The spill's environmental impact is not immediately clear, although divers sent to the ship have already sealed two vents in the fuel tanks that were the source of the leak.

Companies use bulk carriers to transport solid goods such as grain, and it is thought that the leaked fuel is that used by the ship itself.

The Gibraltar Port Authority (GPA) said the small amount of oil that escaped had gone beyond the perimeter of a boom that was put in place to contain any oil. Port officials in the the tiny British territory at the tip of southern Spain plan to deploy a second barrier to prevent any further expansion.

"The priority is to corral and collect the free floating oil that has escaped the boom, as well as to remove the oil that has remained contained inside the boom," said the GPA.

rc/nm (AFP, dpa, AFP)

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