Greek authorities race to clean up oil spill from sunken tanker at Saronic Gulf

2017-09-13 14:45:56 GMT2017-09-13 22:45:56(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

by Maria Spiliopoulou

ATHENS, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- Greek authorities were racing against time on Wednesday to clean up an oil spill at the Saronic Gulf caused by a small tanker which sank off the island of Salamina on Sunday.

Actions are being taken to limit the pollution and empty the tanks of the vessel Agia Zoni II which still contains much of the 2,570 tons of fuel it was carrying, Greek national news agency AMNA reported.

The tanker sank while it was anchored off Salamina under circumstances that are yet unclear.

Initially, the oil slick extended over a 1.5-km area off Salamina, but due to winds it gradually spread on Tuesday towards Piraeus port suburbs, doubling in size, according to Coast Guard sources.

There is no more danger of further leaks as specialized crews have managed to seal the cargo, Shipping Minister Panagiotis Kouroublis stressed.

In a press release issued on Wednesday, the shipping firm, Agia Zoni, that owns the tanker said it would "remain in constant contact with all competent services in order for the environment to be fully restored."

The shipping company refuted claims that the tanker had not been fully seaworthy, noting that all certificates were up to date and all inspections required under law had been done.

Many volunteers on Salamina island joined efforts to clean up the oil spill and prevent further damage to the environment.

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