Gibraltar to reopen port after ship fuel spill emergency

International Headlines

FILE – Tug boats work to control spilled oil from the Tuvalu-registered OS 35 cargo ship that collided with a liquid natural gas carrier in the bay of Gibraltar, in Gibraltar, on Sept. 1, 2022. Gibraltar authorities said Wednesday Sept. 7, 2022 the Rock’s port will partially reopen later in the day following the removal of most of the oil from a stricken ship that collided in its bay area last week. (AP Photo/Marcos Moreno, File)

MADRID (AP) — Gibraltar authorities said Wednesday the Rock’s port would partially reopen later in the day following the removal of most of the oil from a stricken ship that collided in its bay area last week.

The government said in a statement that some operations at the port would resume Wednesday night, as part of a scaled re-opening.

The government says the emergency status of the ship incident has been lifted because most of the fuel from the ship has been extracted.

The ship ran aground in shallows after colliding Aug. 29 with another vessel, triggering fears of a major spillage.

An unknown quantity of fuel oil seeped from the ship last Thursday, causing a slick, and teams have been working to clean the area as well as remove the oil still on the ship.

Fishing in the area has been prohibited. Several Gibraltar beaches and one in Spain temporarily prohibited bathing.

The Gibraltar government said Wednesday there were no reports of significant amounts of oil reaching the coast.

Operations to remove the remaining fuel and other material from the ship are continuing. Authorities are still studying what to do with the ship structure once those operations are completed.

Gibraltar said the 178-meter (584-foot), Tuvalu-registered OS 35 was carrying 250 tons of diesel. After the initial spill it still had 183 tons of fuel oil and 27 tons of lubricant oil in its tanks.

The ship was carrying a cargo of steel bars when it collided with a liquefied natural gas carrier. The second ship sustained little damage. No one was injured in the collision.

Gibraltar, a British territory located on southern tip of the Iberian peninsula, is a busy shipping and fuel supply port.

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