Sat, Oct 08, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Oil spill cleanup off north coast close to completion

Staff Writer, with CNA

Efforts to clean up an oil spill off the northern coast have nearly come to an end, according to the company which owns the ship that caused the spill when it ran aground earlier this week.

A spokesman for the company said yesterday that it had sent divers to the site to examine damage to the ship’s hull and an initial inspection found no additional fuel oil was being leaked into the sea.

In addition to leaving at least eight people dead, the stricken vessel leaked more than 300 tonnes of fuel oil into the waters off Keelung Harbor.

The company spokesman said the firm had already begun negotiations with local fishermen about compensating them for their losses because of the pollution on Dawulun Harbor beach and in the waters off the harbor.

“The cleanup job will be -finished soon,” the spokesman said.

However, the New Taipei City Government said yesterday it was still sending personnel to the area to help the Keelung City Government clear away the pollution. The Coast Guard Administration is also continuing its search for two crewmen still missing from the vessel, although some fear their bodies may have already drifted down the west coast.

The 11,500 tonne Jui Hsing, a Panama-registered gravel vessel, set off from Keelung late on Sunday for China to collect a cargo of gravel for transport back to Taiwan. The freighter ran aground between Keelung and New Taipei City’s (新北市) Wanli District (萬里) shortly after leaving port in stormy weather.

The vessel later broke in two and the crew abandoned ship, leaving eight of the 21 crew members dead and two missing.

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