The beaches and water of the Aqaba Gulf have been cleared of pollution from an oil slick, caused when a fuel tanker fell into the gulf earlier this month, according to an announcement by Bilal Bashir, the commissioner on environment of the Special Economic Zone.
Bashir said on Sunday that the oil, which was reported to have affected about 10 kilometers of coastline, had no damaging effect on Aqaba's marine life or coral reef and noted that the tanker had fallen onto the coast.
He said work was still under way to remove remaining traces of oil.
The tanker, bearing an Iraqi license plate and driven by an Iraqi national, had reportedly skidded and dived into the water when the driver lost control on the vehicle as he was driving along a dock.
The tanker was carrying 25 tones of heavy fuel oil when the accident occurred, breaking the driver's legs.
Bashir said the slick spread in small spots after the accident due to wind and water currents.
"The situation is now under control, and shortly we will get rid of all traces of that accident," added Bashir.
Officials at the Prince Hamzah Centre for Combating Marine Pollution and the Civil Defence Department which joined forces to deal with the situation, said the clean-up process which has lasted for a week now is expected to be completed within days.
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)