The authorities in the Canary Islands say that a three-kilometer fuel slick left by a ferry that crashed into a pier at the port of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria on Friday had reduced by around 80% by Sunday.
The accident took place on Friday at around 8.30pm when the ferry, carrying some 140 passengers, hit a breakwater as it maneuvered while exiting the port, headed for Tenerife.
The accident broke fuel lines on the pier, prompting the authorities to activate measures to deal with the contamination, both in the capital of Gran Canaria as well as in Telde, a large conurbation seven kilometers to the south of the capital. The Las Palmas desalination plant was closed until further notice.
The collision caused a leak of 60,000 liters of fuel, of which half was recovered immediately
Reports on Sunday from Spanish news agency Europa Press said that three vessels are being used to disperse the fuel by churning up the slick, which had drifted out to sea off Telde. The central government’s delegate in the Canary Islands, Mercedes Roldos, said on Sunday she expected the slick to have evaporated “within 15 or 20 hours.”
The collision affected five diesel supply pipes, causing a leak of 60,000 liters of fuel, of which half was recovered immediately, said a committee set up to monitor the accident at a press conference.
The company that owns the ferry, Naviera Armas, said the vessel was hit by an electrical problem while maneuvering, leading it to lose power and head uncontrolled into a breakwater by the pier.
There were no serious injuries among passenger and crew. Five people were taken to hospital, with 13 attended aboard the vessel by emergency services.
English version by Nick Lyne.