World Greek beaches blackened as sunken ship leaks oil

14:21  14 september  2017
14:21  14 september  2017 Source:   Sky News

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Video: 'Catastrophic' oil spill blights Greek beaches . By Mike Pegler, Producer. Miles of shoreline along some of Greece 's most popular beaches has been left blackened following a huge oil spill from a sunken tanker.

More top stories. Previous article Greek beaches blackened as sunken ship leaks oil .

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Miles of shoreline along some of Greece's most popular beaches has been left blackened following a huge oil spill from a sunken tanker.

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A bird covered in oil that leaked from a sunken tanker tries to stay afloatGiorgos Moutafis/Reuters. Greece 's shipping minister Panagiotis Kouroublis said divers have sealed the ship 's cargo holds and work is due to start on Beaches on Greek island covered in thick black oil after sinking of tanker.

Oil that leaked from a tanker that sank is seen on a beach on the island of SalamisGiorgos Moutafis/Reuters. Greece 's merchant marine minister Panagiotis Kouroumplis said that divers had managed to seal that leak and contain 95 percent of the ship 's cargo.

The Agia Zoni II ship, which was 45 years old, sank near the island of Salamis on Sunday night.

By Wednesday, the spill had spread for miles towards stretches of the Athens Riviera, leaving beaches deserted and authorities frantically trying to deal with the problem.

Oil spill turns coast of Athens and its beaches black © Reuters Oil spill turns coast of Athens and its beaches black The wreck was "sealed" by Tuesday, according to the coastguard, so it is hoped that not all of the 2,500 tons of oil onboard has seeped into the sea.

Residents are calling the event a "catastrophe".

Fotis Yiamanis, who lives in the seafront neighbourhood of Faliro, said: "Even if the oil leaves the surface of the water, the rest is going to sink and set in the sand. We'll step in and (our feet) will turn black."

Yannis Trikaminas, who lives in Piraeus, said: "You can't go near now.

"It stinks of oil, who's going to go in there to swim? Look at the boats there, they are black from the tar."

Privately owned tank trucks are working to clean up the pollution, assisted by floating cranes and offshore anti-pollution vessels, authorities have said.

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