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Part of broken-up ship that caused Mauritius oil spill to be sunk

The Mauritian government is preparing to sink the largest part of the Japanese vessel that caused a massive oil spill in the island’s waters, after it broke in two at the weekend.

Mauritius spill
The Mauritius oil spill

Government adviser, Ken Arian, said this on Monday, August 17, 2020.

“The front part, which is the longest and biggest part will be sunk,’’ Arian told dpa.

“The back part, smaller part, will be broken into pieces and removed.’’

The front part will be towed to deep waters where it can be sunk, he said of the Wakashio, which ran aground near the Indian Ocean Island on July 25.

The vessel has leaked about 1,000 tons of the 4,000 tons of fuel oil it was carrying into the popular honeymoon resort’s pristine coastal waters, an area home to much rare flora and fauna.

Last week, Nagashiki Shipping, the Japanese company responsible for the accident, said the removal of the remaining 3,000 tons of fuel oil from the ship was almost complete. On Aug. 15, the ship split in two.

Environmental watchdog Greenpeace is demanding a full investigation into the accident, saying it was unclear why the vessel had sailed so dangerously close to the reef and why it took authorities days to arrive at the scene.

An opinion piece in a local newspaper last week called for officials to resign.

Asked whether anyone in the government intended to resign over the incident, Arian told dpa that criticism was coming from the opposition and reiterated the government’s position, that it was prevented from acting immediately due to bad weather conditions.

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