No leaks detected so far in fuel-laden ship sunk off Tunisia


Divers have inspected the hull of the tanker that sank off the coast of Tunisia with 750 tons of diesel.

Divers have inspected the hull of a tanker loaded with 750 tons of fuel that sank off southeastern Tunisia, with no leak detected so far, officials said.

The crew of the Xelo had issued a distress call Friday night and sought shelter in Tunisian waters from bad weather before going down, authorities said.

Xelo, flying the flag of Equatorial Guinea, was en route from Egypt to Malta when it crashed.

Footage released by the Environment and Defense Ministries shows divers making their way to the site in the Gulf of Gabes and then entering the water at the site closed by the Tunisian military.

“With the improvement of the weather conditions, a team of divers, accompanied by the captain and the engineer of the ship, who know the layout of the ship, are on site to examine the hull,” said Mohamed Karray, spokesman for the ship. court in the city of Gabes, investigating Saturday’s sinking. the AFP news agency on Sunday.

Pictures from the Ministry of Defense showed that the ship was largely submerged.

Environment Minister Leila Chikhaoui, who traveled to the port of Gabes on Saturday to oversee the response, said the situation was “under control”.

“We think the hull is still watertight and there is no leakage at the moment,” she told AFP.

As a precautionary measure, protection trees have been placed around the wreck to absorb any oil spills.

A merchant ship sinks off the coast of Gabes, Tunisia [Reuters]

Some countries have offered to help Tunisia prevent environmental damage, Tunisia’s defense ministry said on Sunday.

According to local media reports, Italy had offered to help and was expected to send a naval vessel specializing in dealing with disasters at sea.

The Tunisian branch of the World Wildlife Fund expressed concern about another “environmental disaster” in the region, a major fishing zone that has already suffered from pollution.

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