Oil slick laps against Sakhalin Island's port

Jul 04, 2000 02:00 AM

A huge oil slick leaking from a Japanese ship that sunk more than 20 years ago is lapping against a port on Russia's Sakhalin Island in the Pacific Ocean, a government official said.
Winds first blew the 1.8-mile-long, 300 yard-wide slick out to sea, but the gusts reversed course and sent the oil towards the piers of Shakhtyorsk, the Emergency Situations Ministry said.
Boats splashed absorbent chemicals on the spill and used booms to control its flow. It was too early to assess ecological damage, the ministry said.
The Japanese ship Takeo Maru sunk off Sakhalin Island during a storm in 1979 with its fuel tanks full. The ministry said the oil leaked because a rusty tank had ruptured. Divers previously attempted to weld shut small holes in the tanks. Work was slowed by a dispute over whether Russia or Japan should pay for it.

Source: AP
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