Thursday, February 17, 2005

OIL SPILL - TUNISIA

The vessel is now stranded on a sandbank off the shore. Authorities in Tunisia are struggling to contain the damage from crude oil leaking into the Mediterranean from a ship off the country's coast. A 1.5km (1-mile) oil slick is already coating beaches near the town of Korbous, a popular tourist resort.
The container ship ran aground in stormy seas some 50km from the capital Tunis on Tuesday night. The vessel, registered in Morocco, was carrying some 200 metric tons of heavy oil and diesel when it hit rocks.
Officials say the crew did not raise the alert in time to prevent the spill. Dutch anti-pollution teams and hundreds of local volunteers have joined the country's army in trying to break up the slick. Some 13 tons of crude oil leaked into the water from its ruptured tank on Wednesday.
Officials say the clean-up operation could take several days.

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