Sunken oil tanker in Oriental Mindoro now half-empty

A Japanese remotely operated underwater vehicle located the oil tanker MT Princess Empress at a depth of 394.9m in the waters between Oriental Mindoro and Marinduque. - Philippine Coast Guard

MANILA (Philippine Daily Inquirer/Asia News Network): The submerged oil tanker in Oriental Mindoro which caused a massive oil spill is estimated to have already released around half of the fuel it contained, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said.

PCG spokesperson Armand Balilo said that of the 800,000 litres of industrial fuel oil, the tanker now only contain up to 400,000 litres.

“Out of the original 800,000 litres, it seems that like — we are still validating this — 300,000 close to 400,000 litres is left,” Balilo said in an ambush interview in the Philippine Coast Guard headquarters in Manila on Tuesday (March 28).

Balilo said the PCG is bolstering its efforts to retrieve the remaining fuel in the tanker.

“We are retrieving the oil, in fact, we’ve got a lot already. Our operations would be focused on the remaining oil to further prevent leakage," Balilo added.

Balilo said that one of its options is to use a remotely operated underwater vehicle to get rid of the oil in the remaining tankers.

To date, the PCG said it collected a total of 10,163 litres of oily water and 123 sacks of oil-contaminated material in its off shore operations from March 1 to 17.

Oil spill ensued after MT Princess Empress sank on Feb 28 in Naujan, Oriental Mindoro after having engine trouble due to rough sea condition.

The spillage reached as far as Verde Island in Batangas and Taytay town in Palawan.

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Philippines , oil , spill , tanker , MT Princess Empress


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