Fuel leak halted after ships collide

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The Independent Online

A Greek tanker collided with a container ship 20 miles (30km) off the Dutch coast today and briefly leaked jet fuel into the North Sea, a Coast Guard spokesman said.

The crew of the Mindoro were able to pump the remaining fuel into an undamaged part of the ship, ending the leak, Coast Guard spokesman Peter van Oorschot said.

"We have a small slick in the water, but it is minimal and it is evaporating very quickly," he said, adding that it was unclear how much jet fuel had spilled into the sea. Offshore winds were blowing the slick away from the coast.

"The situation appears to be under control," Mr Van Oorschot added.

He said an oil spill control boat was on its way to the stricken tanker as a precaution and a Coast Guard tug also was heading to the scene.

Nobody was injured on either of the ships, he added.

The Mindoro dropped its anchor and was waiting for experts to investigate whether it was safe for it to return to port. The tanker had a 16ft (5m) hole torn in its hull close to the waterline.

The container ship involved in the collision, the Cypriot-flagged Jork Ranger, was returning to port, but was not seriously damaged.

Mr Van Oorschot said it was not immediately clear how the collision happened.