Oil spill threatens Pakistan coast again

Pakistani authorities on Sunday frantically attempted to empty a grounded oil tanker that is close to breaking up and spilling more crude near the coast.

    Cleaning up the coast will be a tough challenge for Pakistan

    Authorities fear the grounded Greek tanker Tasman Spirit, could spill 5500 tonnes of crude it still has on board if its rear section breaks under the impact of rough seas.

    "The ship has tilted to 18 degrees from 13 degrees on Saturday, because of the high tide. It is a very dangerous posture. At 20-plus degrees, the ship can break up," Brigadier Iftikhar Arshad, a senior official of the Karachi Port Trust said.

    Carrying 67,500 tonnes of crude oil, Tasman Spirit had run aground on 27 July and spilled 25,000 tonnes of oil into the Arabian Sea, polluting the coastline and killing marine life.

    Brigadier Arshad said chances of a further oil spill had increased, but authorities were trying to empty the ship "as soon as possible".


    "It is a very dangerous posture. At 20-plus degrees, the ship can break up"

    Karachi Port Trust Official

    "We will hopefully complete the drainage operation by Monday but the operation is becoming dangerous with the passage of time," he said.

    The oil spilled by the tanker has badly polluted a 16-km stretch of Karachi's eastern coastline.

    Sea Angle, a small salvage tanker that arrived from the United Arab Emirates, is spearheading the delicate draining operation.

    Environmentalists and doctors are already complaining of increased ailments such as headaches and nausea among residents of Karachi's beachside neighbourhoods.

    With dead fish, turtles and sea snakes littering Karachi's coast covered by thick layers of crude oil, environmentalists say the damage caused by the spill has been huge.

    They say it could take months to clean and restore the coastline.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Meet the deported nurse aiding asylum seekers at US-Mexico border

    Meet the deported nurse helping refugees at the border

    Francisco 'Panchito' Olachea drives a beat-up ambulance around Nogales, taking care of those trying to get to the US.

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    How a homegrown burger joint pioneered a food revolution and decades later gave a young, politicised class its identity.

    'We will cut your throats': The anatomy of Greece's lynch mobs

    The brutality of Greece's racist lynch mobs

    With anti-migrant violence hitting a fever pitch, victims ask why Greek authorities have carried out so few arrests.