The clean-up of an oil spill from a bulk carrier run aground in the Solomon Islands could reach $50m, experts have said, as efforts began to prevent more oil leaking into the sea.
Eighty tonnes of heavy fuel oil has leaked so far in an area close to a world heritage coral site on Rennell Island.
An estimated 600 tonnes remains onboard the MV Solomon Trader and operations began on Friday to pump the fuel from the ruptured tank into a secure container.
It will then be transferred onto a barge expected to arrive at the site on Saturday. The transfer was expected to take two days.
The bulk carrier’s Hong Kong owner, King Trader Ltd, and the vessel’s South Korean insurer issued an apology over the environmental disaster but stopped short of accepting liability.
The ship had been loading bauxite from a mine in the days before Cyclone Oma pushed it aground on a coral reef in the early hours of 5 February.
Photo: Brocken Inaglory/Wikimedia Commons
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