Specialists in marine pollution control in the Ports Corporation of Aqaba are likely to soak up the oil slick floating in the Red Sea off the Port of Aqaba within the next 24-36 hours.
The step will come after the specialists succeeded late on Monday in containing the oil spill which was not concentrated in one place [but had broken up], said a marine pollution control worker in the Ports Corporation.
“The cleanup process which started late on Saturday is expected to be over on Tuesday or Wednesday at the maximum,” said the worker who has been involved in the cleanup from the start and who requested anonymity.
A fuel tanker skidded off the road and into the Red Sea in Aqaba on Saturday evening causing the slick, which has affected about 10 kilometers of coastline, a port source said, whereas initially it was thought to have affected 15 kilometers.
“The sea waves are seriously confronting our efforts, however, we have succeeded in separating the heavy fuel from the seawater late on Monday,” the worker mentioned.
“On Tuesday, we will use special instruments to absorb the spill,” he said, adding that the marine pollution control specialists and workers will start as of Wednesday cleaning up the coast and rocks affected by the incident.
On Saturday evening, around 5:00 pm the Marine Inspection Department reported to the Prince Hamzah Centre for Combating Marine Pollution that there was an extensive oil slick seen along the Aqaba coast.
Both centers function under the umbrella of the Ports Corporation of Aqaba.
The truck reportedly skidded and dived into the water when the driver lost control of the vehicle as he was driving along a dock.
The truck, said the pollution control worker, bore an Arab license plate. “The truck is an Iraqi one and its driver is a native of that country,” he said, adding that the truck's load was around “20-25 tones of heavy fuel.”
“One of the driver's legs was broken in the accident,” said the port source earlier.
The Ports Corporation officials were unavailable for further explanation, while others declined to comment on the incident.
( Jordan Times )
By Khalid Dalal
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )