Belgium, Netherlands facing oil slick

2015-10-07 08:36
Marine reef ecologist Scott Porter works to remove oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill off his hands in the Gulf of Mexico south of Venice. (Eric Gay, AP)

Marine reef ecologist Scott Porter works to remove oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill off his hands in the Gulf of Mexico south of Venice. (Eric Gay, AP)

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The Hague - Belgium and the Netherlands are frantically trying to stop the spread of oil leaking from a collision Tuesday morning between a freighter and a tanker in the North Sea before the slick sullies a coastal nature reserve.

The Flinterstar freighter was carrying 125 tons of diesel and 427 tons of fuel oil when it collided with the Al Oraiq tanker eight kilometres off the Belgian coast.

According to the Belga news agency, an unspecified amount of oil had already leaked from the ship and was being vacuumed up.

Belgian and Dutch authorities were attempting to build a protective sand bank around the Zwin nature reserve, which straddles their common border, officials said.

The governor of the West Flanders region in Belgium, Carl Decaluwe, was quoted by the news agency as saying that the measures were preventative.

"Calculations show that it is possible that oil reaches the Zwin," West Flanders authorities said in a Facebook post.

Both boats were damaged in the collision, but the 315m long tanker was able to make it to the Belgian port of Zeebrugge.

The 130m long Flinterstar partially sank on a sand bank. All 12 crew members were rescued.

Read more on:    belgium  |  netherlands  |  marine life  |  environment

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