Sunken oil tanker off Tunisian coast was empty: Ministry

Tunis, April 23 (IANS) Tunisian environmental authorities have said the Equatorial Guinea-flagged fuel ship sunk last week off the Tunisian coast was not carrying fuel.
 
Sunken oil tanker off Tunisian coast was empty: Ministry

Tunis, April 23 (IANS) Tunisian environmental authorities have said the Equatorial Guinea-flagged fuel ship sunk last week off the Tunisian coast was not carrying fuel.

"The Ministry is now certain that this sunken ship does not present any environmental risk," the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development said on Friday in a statement.

"Any risk of pollution, in the light of preliminary information indicating that the ship was carrying 750 tonnes of fuel, has now been ruled out," it added.

According to the National Environmental Protection Agency of Tunisia, the only detected leaks were the ship's engine oil and do not represent any threats to the environment and the maritime ecosystem of the region in question, Xinhua news agency reported.

The incident occurred a week ago when the vessel heading from Egypt to Malta requested entry to Tunisian waters over bad weather. Its crew sent a distress call 11 km away from the Gabes coast in southeastern Tunisia, saying the water seeped into the engine room to a depth of two metres.

--IANS

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