Diesel tanker with 750 TONNES of fuel sinks off the coast of Tunisia as rescue teams race to salvage the ship to avert huge oil spill ‘disaster’
- Ship going from Egypt to Malta sinks with 750 tonnes of diesel fuel still on board
- The ship had requested entry to Tunisian waters on Friday due to bad weather
- Authorities are now working to avoid ‘a marine environmental disaster’ situation
A tanker carrying 750 tonnes of diesel fuel from Egypt to Malta sank Saturday in the Gulf of Gabes off Tunisia’s southeast coast, an official said.
‘The ship sank this morning in Tunisian territorial waters. For the moment, there is no leak,’ Mohamed Karray said, adding that a ‘disaster prevention committee will meet to decide on the measures to be taken’.
The Equatorial Guinea-flagged Xelo was headed from the Egyptian port of Damietta to Malta when it requested entry to Tunisian waters on Friday evening due to bad weather.
The Equatorial Guinea-flagged Xelo (pictured above) was headed from the Egyptian port of Damietta to Malta
It began taking water around four miles offshore in the Gulf of Gabes and the engine room was engulfed, according to a Tunisian environment ministry statement.
It said Tunisian authorities evacuated the seven-member crew.
Karray said the Georgian captain, four Turks and two Azerbaijanis were briefly hospitalised for checks and were now in a hotel.
The defence, interior, transport and customs ministries were working to avoid ‘a marine environmental disaster in the region and limit its impact’, the environment ministry said.
It began taking water around seven kilometres (over four miles) offshore in the Gulf of Gabes and the engine room was engulfed, according to a Tunisian environment ministry statement