Emergency services are working around the clock to prevent an environmental disaster of a fuel leak in the port of Gibraltar following a collision between two vessels, the port authority said.
There are fears that the bulk carrier OS 35 is close to splitting in half and releasing fuel into the bay of Gibraltar after hitting the carrier vessel Adam LNG, Xinhua news agency reported.
The Gibraltar Port Authority in the British Crown Colony informed on Wednesday afternoon that the hull of the OS 35, registered in the Pacific Island state of Tuvalu, had broken but the two sections had not separated. The Adam LNG, registered in the Marshall Islands, suffered only minor damages in the collision.
Booms had been placed around the bulk carrier to contain any oil that could escape from its tanks, while the 24 crew members and six experts surveying the damage on board had been evacuated, the port authority added on Thursday.
The port authority explained that some lubricants had escaped from a crane on the bow of the vessel, but were contained by the primary boom. Additional booms have been put into place while plans are finalised to pump the 400 ton of fuel oil into barges.
Meanwhile, all other operations in the Port of Gibraltar have been halted due to the delicate nature of the operation. The Spanish maritime rescue services are also providing assistance.