A Syrian ship carrying 165 tons of nitric acid lost a part of its load Saturday before sinking off the Egyptian Mediterranean coast, the Egyptian press reported Sunday.
The captain of the Daliah-S, which carried ten crew members and two passengers, noticed that the nitric acid was leaking into the sea about six hours after the ship left Alexandria and sent out a distress call to Egyptian authorities.
Emergency workers found the boat's passengers severely affected by fumes in life boats about 15 kilometers (10 miles) from Abu Kir, near Alexandria. The ship had already sunk.
The head of the government's environment agency, Ibrahim Abdel Gelil, told the government daily Al-Akhbar that the nitric acid had diluted, decreasing the risks of pollution on the country's coasts.
The Egyptian Environment Minister, Nadia Makram Ebeid, went to Alexandria to evaluate the situation, according to press accounts – CAIRO (AFP)
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