A stricken Japanese oil tanker that's leaked tons of oil into the Indian Ocean off the island nation of Mauritius split apart Saturday, spreading remaining fuel into the area.

The Mauritius National Crisis Committee shared photos on social media of the MV Wakashio, saying the boat "split in two pieces" with tug boats "already at work."

"Booms had been placed already around the ship and the skimmer boat is also present as precautionary measures," the group said.

MAURITIUS DRAINS OIL FROM STRICKEN SHIP, BUT ENVIRONMENTALISTS FEAR EXTENT OF DAMAGE

The Wakashio struck a reef on July 25 and its hull began to crack after days of pounding waves before finally splitting this weekend.

After becoming stranded in the water, some 1,000 tons of fuel began to leak on Aug. 6.

Officials said a plan to tow the ship to shore has been "implemented" and the clean-up operation is ongoing, Sky News reported.

The MV Wakashio, a bulk carrier ship that recently ran aground off the southeast coast of Mauritius, can bee seen from the coast or Mauritius, Wednesday Aug. 12, 2020.

The MV Wakashio, a bulk carrier ship that recently ran aground off the southeast coast of Mauritius, can bee seen from the coast or Mauritius, Wednesday Aug. 12, 2020. (AP Photo/ Kooghen Modeliar-Vyapooree-L’express Maurice)

Oil barriers were in place and a skimmer ship was nearby by the time the vessel broke apart.

Volunteers take part in the clean up operation in Mahebourg, Mauritius, Wednesday Aug. 12, 2020, surrounding the oil spill from the MV Wakashio, a bulk carrier ship that recently ran aground off the southeast coast of Mauritius.

Volunteers take part in the clean up operation in Mahebourg, Mauritius, Wednesday Aug. 12, 2020, surrounding the oil spill from the MV Wakashio, a bulk carrier ship that recently ran aground off the southeast coast of Mauritius. (AP Photo/Beekash Roopun-L’express Maurice)

Most of the remaining 3,000 tons of fuel had been pumped off the ship in the past week as environmental groups warned that the damage to coral reefs and once-pristine coastal areas could be irreversible.

This photo provided by the French Army shows oil leaking from the MV Wakashio, a bulk carrier ship that ran aground off the southeast coast of Mauritius, Tuesday Aug.11, 2020.

This photo provided by the French Army shows oil leaking from the MV Wakashio, a bulk carrier ship that ran aground off the southeast coast of Mauritius, Tuesday Aug.11, 2020. (Gwendoline Defente, EMAE via AP)

In a statement, the committee said: "Discussions were held during the morning of August 15, 2020, with foreign experts with regards to the action plan for the cleaning of affected sites and to the subsequent rehabilitation of the marine and coastal ecosystem of the region."

MAURITIUS OIL DISASTER: RACE TO DRAIN STRICKEN SHIP BEFORE IT SPLITS IN HALF

The ship's leak last month prompted a state of environmental emergency to be declared, with the Mauritian government now under pressure to explain why immediate action wasn’t taken to empty the ship of its fuel.

This photo taken and provided by Sophie Seneque, shows debris in Riviere des Creoles, Mauritius, Sunday Aug. 9, 2020, after it leaked from the MV Wakashio.

This photo taken and provided by Sophie Seneque, shows debris in Riviere des Creoles, Mauritius, Sunday Aug. 9, 2020, after it leaked from the MV Wakashio. (Sophie Seneque via AP)

Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth has blamed bad weather for the slow response.

Volunteers take part in the clean up operation in Mahebourg, Mauritius Wednesday Aug. 12, 2020 surrounding the oil spill from the MV Wakashio.

Volunteers take part in the clean up operation in Mahebourg, Mauritius Wednesday Aug. 12, 2020 surrounding the oil spill from the MV Wakashio. (AP Photo/Beekash Roopun-L’express Maurice)

The Mauritian government is seeking compensation from the owner, Nagashiki Shipping.

This photo provided by the French Army shows oil leaking from the MV Wakashio, a bulk carrier ship that ran aground off the southeast coast of Mauritius, Tuesday Aug.11, 2020.

This photo provided by the French Army shows oil leaking from the MV Wakashio, a bulk carrier ship that ran aground off the southeast coast of Mauritius, Tuesday Aug.11, 2020. (Gwendoline Defente, EMAE via AP)

The company has said that “residual” amounts of fuel remained on the ship after pumping. It is also investigating why the ship went off course.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

The ship was meant to stay at least 10 miles from shore.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source Link:
https://www.foxnews.com/world/mauritius-oil-disaster-oil-tanker-splits-apart-response-disaster-water

[0,"neutral"]

Comments

comments

Advertisement