Gibraltar confirms leakage of fuel from stranded cargo ship

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Gibraltar, Natural Gas, Fuel
A leak of heavy fuel oil sits on the surface of the sea by the Tuvalu-registered OS 35 cargo ship that collided with a liquid natural gas carrier in the Bay of Gibraltar

A small amount of heavy fuel oil has leaked from a bulk carrier ship stranded since colliding on Monday with another ship near the Bay of Gibraltar, authorities said.

The captain of Gibraltar Port said the leak is “fully under control”.

Authorities announced one person had been arrested on Thursday in connection with the incident but gave no further information.

The Port Authority said a small amount of oil escaped the perimeter of a boom placed to contain any spill.

A second barrier was to be deployed to prevent the spill spreading.

An aerial photo of the stricken ship showed a small slick on the outside of the boom.

The oil is being collected by two vessels from Gibraltar Port Authority and Spanish Maritime Rescue.

The environmental impact of the spill was not immediately clear.

Divers sent to the ship have already sealed the source of the leak – two vents in the fuel tanks.

Fabian Picardo, the head of Gibraltar’s government, explained to Spanish public broadcaster TVE that the pumping of the fuel remaining in the tanks will be carried out by the ship’s insurer.

The extraction is set to last around 50 hours.

The ship has stored 215 tons of heavy fuel oil, 250 tons of diesel and 27 tons of lubricating oil, Spanish news agency EFE reported.

The usually busy Gibraltar Port remains closed, while neighbouring Algeciras Port is fully operational.

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