A fuel tanker plunged into the Red Sea off the Port of Aqaba on Saturday evening, said a port worker on Sunday, who is specialised in marine pollution control.
The truck spilled its load in the water, “causing the slick to affect 15 kilometers of coastline,” the worker who was taking part in the clean-up process, told the Jordan Times.
“On Saturday evening around 5:00pm the Marine Investigation Center reported to the Prince Hamzah Centre for Combating Marine Pollution that there was an oil-spill seen along the Aqaba coast,” the worker, who declined to be named, said.
Both centers function under the umbrella of the Ports Corporation of Aqaba.
The Jordan News Agency, Petra, was quoted by the Associated Press (AP) on Sunday as saying that “the truck skidded and crashed into the water when the driver lost control of the vehicle as he was driving at a dock in Aqaba, 350 kilometers south of Amman.”
The truck, according to AP, bore a license plate from a neighboring Arab country, which it did not identify. However, the worker said the truck is an Iraqi one and its driver is a native of that country.
“One of the driver's legs was broken in the accident,” said the port worker.
“The process of removing the oil-spill is still at its peak,” said the worker, adding that the clean-up process may not be completed by Monday.
“It is due to the fact that the oil-spill is not concentrated in one place, but distributing [itself] over 15 kilometers along the shoreline,” said the worker. “However, we can say that it is near to being contained and under control,” he said.
Minimal damage to coral reefs along the coast occurred, he added.
The Jordan Times made several attempts to reach Ports Corporation officials for further comment. Some were unavailable to comment, while others declined to comment on the incident.
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)