Oil From Tanker Hits Coast

Friday, March 30, 2001
Danish authorities said that half the oil from the tanker which collided with a freighter in the Baltic Sea between Denmark and Germany on Wednesday evening had hit the Danish coast. Around 1,000-1,500 tons of heavy heating oil had reached the shores of the southeastern Danish islands Moen and Bogoe, spreading pollution over approximately 30 km (19 miles), a police spokesman in charge of the clean-up operation told Reuters on Friday night. "We have the oil under control but the estimate for the amount of oil leaked has been increased and we intend to reinforce our clean-up efforts tomorrow," he said. Extra manpower and machinery would be brought to the site on Saturday, he added. Earlier, coastguards said around 1,900 tons of oil had leaked from the stricken tanker, but the latest estimate was 2,600 tons. The spokesman said some 100 tons out of the approximately 400-ton oil slick floating in the waters between the Faroe and Storstroem bridges connecting the islands of Sealand and Falster had been cleaned up during the course of the day. Also threatened by pollution from the spill was a bird reserve area on the island of Moen, where foresters earlier in the day shot several swans, herons and other bird drenched in oil. The police spokesman said the German coastguard was expected at the weekend to assist in mopping up another huge oil slick of around 500 tons floating in the same area in the Baltic Sea. The authorities said they expected it would take at least a week to clean up all the oil. The tanker was en route to Gothenburg, Sweden, with a cargo from Estonia when it collided with the freighter, which was anchored off the north German port of Rostock. No crew members were hurt in the collision, which happened 14 nautical miles north of Darsser Ort, on the German coast, at 2230 GMT on Wednesday. - (Reuters)

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