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article imageNew oil leak as wrecked cargo ship Rena sinks

By Katerina Nikolas     Jan 10, 2012 in Environment
The bow of the wrecked cargo ship Rena remains stranded on the Astrolabe Reef, but the stern is rapidly sinking. About 10 tons of fresh oil has leaked from the ship.
The scene surrounding the grounded cargo ship Rena, that broke into two over the weekend, has been described as carnage by a pilot flying overhead. The stern of the wrecked ship is sinking in the stormy waters off the shore of the resort Island of Tauranga, New Zealand, as fresh oil leaks into the sea.
CNN reported that 10 tons of oil have leaked from the unstable vessel, leaving an oil slick surrounding the ship. According to the Jakarta Globe officials expect the leaked oil to reach the shore overnight. An emergency response team is standing by, but it is considered too hazardous to send divers into the water surrounding the wreck.
The Telegraph reported that looters were making off with items washed up as debris from containers that reached the beaches. Authorities urged the looters to return the retrieved goods, primarily milk powder and timber, as they posed a health threat until decontaminated.
Maritime Commander Alex van Wijngaarden said of the oil spill “This was not unexpected. We are prepared, and we will deal with it." The amount of oil is only a fraction of the 350 tons spilt when Rena first crashed into the reef, causing the worst maritime disaster New Zealand had experienced.
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