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Diesel-laden ship sinks off Tunisia coast – The Citizen



A tanker carrying 750 tonnes of diesel fuel from Egypt to Malta sank on Saturday in the Gulf of Gabes off the southeast coast of Tunisia, prompting a rush to avoid a spill.

“The ship sank this morning in Tunisian border waters. At present, there are no leaks, “said local court spokesman Mohamed Karray.

A disaster prevention committee would meet in the coming hours “to decide what action to take,” he said.

Xelo, which has the Equatorial Guinea flag, was launched from the Egyptian port of Damietta to the European island of Malta when it tried to enter Tunisian waters on Friday afternoon due to bad weather.

The tanker is 58 meters long and nine meters wide, according to a ship monitoring website vesseltracker.com.

He began taking water about seven kilometers offshore in the Gulf of Gabes and the engine room was crowded, according to a statement from the Tunisian Environment Minister.

Tunisian authorities said the crew had evacuated seven members.

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Environment Minister Leila Chikhaoui was traveling to Gabes “to assess the situation… and to take the necessary preventive decisions in cooperation with the regional authorities”, a statement from the Minister said.

The authorities have “implemented the national emergency plan for the prevention of marine pollution with the aim of bringing the situation under control and preventing the spread of pollutants”.

Court spokesman Karray said a Georgian captain, four Turks and two Azerbaijanis were briefly in the hospital for checks and were now in a hotel.

The ministries of defense, interior, transport and customs were working to “avoid a marine environmental disaster in the region and limit its impact”, the Environment Ministry said.

Before the ship sank, the ministry described the situation as “scary” but “under control”.

The Gulf of Gabes has traditionally been a fishing area but activists say it has suffered from pollution caused by phosphate processing industries located near the city of Gabes.

The last maritime accident involving the country occurred in October 2018, when a Tunisian cargo ship Ulysse crashed into Cyprus-based Virginia about 30 kilometers from the northern edge of the French island of Corsica, launching hundreds tons of fuel into the Mediterranean.

It took several days of marine maneuvers to disconnect the boats and pump about 520 cubic meters of propellant fuel, escaping tanks.

Diesel-laden ship sinks off Tunisia coast – The Citizen Source link Diesel-laden ship sinks off Tunisia coast – The Citizen

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