Oil spilled after ships collide in Singapore

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Around 2500 tonnes of oil were spilled into the Strait of Singapore today after two ships collided.

The two ships involved in the collision were the oil tanker MT Bunga Kelana 3 and the bulk ship MV Wally, which collided around thirteen kilometers south of Singapore. The tanker received an estimated ten meter gash on its left side, while the bulk ship sustained only minor damage. After the incident, both ships moved away from the spill and are now anchored.

The oil slick has moved north, and is now now encompassing an estimated four square kilometers around six kilometers south of Singapore. Emergency teams from both Singapore and Malaysia have been mobilized, and around twenty vessels are taking part in the clean-up operations. Both containment booms and chemical dispersants are being used to clean up the oil.

The spill is not expected to have any major effects on shipping; Victor Shum, an official from a consulting firm in Singapore, said that "[i]f it is contained within an oil retaining booms, it may not disrupt shipping traffic. There is no comparison. That one has really no limit at this stage." Shum also expressed environmental concerns, saying that "certainly the concerns are there. Even if it is contained, it will take some time to clean up."

No crew members from either of the ships involved were reported to be injured.


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