Operator of grounded Japanese vessel apologises to Mauritius for oil spill
TOKYO (JAPAN) – The Japanese operator of a bulk carrier that ran aground off the coast of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean tendered an apology on Sunday for a major oil spill. Officials and environmentalists say it is creating an ecological catastrophe.
Mitsui OSK Lines’ MV Wakashio struck a reef on the southeast coast of Mauritius on July 25 and fuel started leaking on Thursday.
“We apologise profusely and deeply for the great trouble we have caused,” Akihiko Ono, executive vice president of Mitsui OSK Lines, said in a briefing in Tokyo.
He pledged that the firm would do everything possible to resolve the issue.
At least 1,000 tonnes of oil is estimated to have leaked into the sea. While 500 tonnes of oil has been salvaged from the vessel, there is still 2,500 tonnes remaining.
Japan is slated to dispatch a six-person disaster relief team on the behest of the Mauritius government to help remove the spilt oil, said the Japanese foreign ministry on Sunday.
“We hope that this assistance will contribute to recovery of the environment of Mauritius and prevention of marine pollution,” the statement said.
(Photos syndicated via Reuters)
This story has been edited by BH staff and is published from a syndicated field