An Iraqi vessel carrying 1,300 tons of fuel oil sank off Jebel Ali in Dubai, reported the Gulf News.
“The fuel carrier, Zainab, sank 16.5 nautical miles north of Jebel Ali at around 2 p.m.,” a statement by the Federal Environmental Agency (FEA) said, cited by the paper.
Zaineb, registered in Georgia, was heading for Pakistan several days ago when the US navy intercepted it as part of efforts to enforce UN sanctions on Baghdad, an environmental official told AFP.
An emergency meeting was called by Hamad Abdul Rahman Al Madfa, the Minister of Health and Chairman of the FEA, to study the environmental situation arising from the sinking of the ship.
The statement said the vessel sank with 1,300 tons of fuel, leaking from its tanks. The number of crewmembers and information about their whereabouts could not be ascertained, the paper added.
Asked if the crew members had been rescued, an official said "all the information is in the official statement. The press will be informed about further developments."
The meeting discussed how to contain the fuel oil spill and protect the beaches in Dubai and Sharjah from the slick.
"The meeting discussed the immediate pumping out of the remaining oil in the vessel's tanks... Efforts are already being made to stop the spill spreading and affecting the nearby beaches," the statement added.
"The immediate operation is to control any leakage and pump out the oil stored in the tanks to help salvage the vessel," the statement said – Albawaba.com
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