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Cargo ships collide near Corsica causing oil spill

Staff Writer |
The Ulysse, ro-ro-cargo ship operated by the Tunisian operator CTN, struck the Cyprus-based container ship CLS Virgina near the French Mediterranean island of Corsica early Sunday, causing no injuries but causing a 4-kilometer (2.4 mile) fuel spill in the Mediterranean Sea.


According to a statement from the regional French maritime authority the collision smashed a hole of several meters (yards) long in the hull of one of the ships, causing the spill.

AP reported that the spill created a trail of pollution nearly 2 and a half miles long and several hundred yards wide, heading away from Corsica to the northwest, toward the French and Italian mainland.

The report quoted officials saying that they had not yet identified the liquid, but a source close to the inquiry said it was probably leaking "from one of the fuel tanks".

According to the AP report, the Ulysse was travelling from Genoa in Italy to the Tunisian port at Rades near Tunis. The Virginia was not carrying any cargo at the time.

Two French ships were sent to the area and specialists were helicoptered in, the AP report said. The Italian coast guard also sent an aircraft to monitor the operation and three ships to help contain the spill.

Cleanup work will resume work Monday morning, when experts will decide how to safely separate the ships, the French statement said.


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