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5 Apr 2017
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Oil spill near Piraeus extended after tanker sinks

Above image is used for illustration purposes only

Worst fears were confirmed from the marine pollution caused by the sinking of the tanker Aghia Zoni II, off a Greek island on Saturday, as oil slicks have reached waters of Piraeus, Greece’s major port in Athens.

The Aghia Zoni II tanker sank while anchored off Salamina island’s eastern coast, with a cargo of 2,200 tons of fuel oil and 370 tons of marine gas oil onboard.

According to local media, clean up experts have been in Peiraiki, Piraeus, since Tuesday morning to estimate the situation, while port authorities have been in the area since Tuesday afternoon, preventing people who want to dive and throwing large amounts of anti-pollution detergents in order to avoid further spreading.

At the same time, concerted efforts are continued to reduce the oil slick as there are fears that it may reach even Faliro. The spill extends over 1,5 km and the cleanup will likely need four months to complete, sources say.

“If the wind direction changes, the problem could spread to the rest of the Saronic gulf,” the island’s mayor was quoted as saying.

In the meantime, Salamina suffers a real ecological damage, with a big part of the coastline ‘turned black’ and residents complaining about health issues. People in the area have also revealed that the decontamination workshops did not arrive in time on the scene, causing the disaster to be worse at the moment.

The two crewmen that were rescued, the tanker’s captain and chief engineer, were arrested for negligence and released pending trial.

The causes of the incident are not determined yet.

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