Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

The battle against illegal fishing in West Africa

Read more

DOWN TO EARTH

Trump has already quit the Paris climate deal - just not publicly

Read more

#TECH 24

The Ice Memory Project: A treasure trove for future scientists

Read more

ENCORE!

Cannes 2017: Stars dig deep at AIDS gala dinner

Read more

FASHION

French fashion designer Jacquemus declares his love for Marseille

Read more

PEOPLE & PROFIT

A piece of work: New French government braces for labour law reform

Read more

#THE 51%

Ridding workplaces of sexism: What companies can do to banish outdated attitudes

Read more

REPORTERS

Exclusive: Inside the battle for Mosul, chaos on the ground

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

The Marais district, the beating heart of Paris

Read more

Asia-pacific

Oil leak adds new front to Philippines ferry disaster

© AFP

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-08-18

Oil leaking from a passenger ferry that sank on Friday night near Cebu in the Philippines killing at least 34 people was spreading uncontrolled to coastal villages on Sunday. Divers said they could not find the source of the leak.

Philippine authorities said Sunday they were unable to stop fuel leaking from a ferry that sank, as oil spread to coastal villages, fishing grounds and mangroves more than five kilometres (three miles) away.

The St Thomas Aquinas ferry sank on Friday night after colliding with a cargo ship just outside the port in Cebu, the Philippines' second biggest city, leaving at least 34 people dead.

Authorities were focused Sunday on trying to find 85 people missing and believed inside the ferry, about 30 metres (100 feet) under water, but the leaking oil added a new front to the disaster response.

"You can see it coming out of the sunken vessel. It is bunker fuel and it is black," Cebu coastguard commander Weniel Azcuna told AFP.

"It has affected a lot of shorelines here in Cebu and (the neighbouring island of) Mactan."

He said there was about 120,000 litres (31,700 gallons) of bunker fuel, and divers had been unable to reach the source of the leak.

Among the areas affected were Lapu-Lapu City and Cordova town in Mactan island, and Talisay city in Cebu, which all host popular beach resorts.

Cordova also has protected mangrove areas while Talisay has a thriving fishing industry.

At Cordova, roots of mangroves were coated in black oil at low tide, according to an AFP reporter who visited the area, which is more than five kilometres from where the ferry sank.

Herons and egrets waded amid shallow water that had a rainbow sheen of oil.

Azcuna said that because the hole could not be plugged, the coastguard and a company contracted by the ferry operator were spraying a chemical dispersant to try and break it up.

He could not say how much of the fuel had leaked out already.

An official with the ferry operator told ABS-CBN television the company intended to bring in foreign experts who could safely pump out the remaining fuel.

(AFP)
 

Date created : 2013-08-18

  • PHILIPPINES

    Philippines suspends search for ferry survivors

    Read more

  • PHILIPPINES

    Philippines rescue continues after deadly ferry collision

    Read more

COMMENT(S)