Taiwan Dealing with Major Oil Spill from Fractured TS Taipei Cargo Ship

Oil-absorbing materials are seen laid out along a rocky beach after an oil leaked from a cargo ship owned by TS Lines Co (in background), off the shores of New Taipei City, Taiwan, March 26, 2016. The oil spilled from the ship has contaminated 2 kilometer (1.24 miles) of water, according to local media. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
The TS Lines Co cargo ship TS Taipei aground off the shores of New Taipei City, Taiwan, March 26, 2016. The oil spilled from the ship has contaminated 2 kilometer (1.24 miles) of water, according to local media. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

Heavy fuel oil that has leaked from a hull fracture in the stranded containership TS Taipei has contaminated approximately 1.24 miles of water in northern Taiwan, local media reports. 

According to Taiwan’s Environmental Protection Agency, onboard remains approximately 240 tonnes fuel oil, 35 tonnes of lube oil, and 30 tonnes of waste and other contaminants, along with the majority of the 617 shipping containers the ship was carrying when it ran aground. Some containers have fallen overboard and have washed ashore or are being monitored.

The EPA warns that the ship could break up further at any moment. 

The oil spill has forced officials to close nearby fishing grounds and warned tourists to stay out of the water. 

The TS Taipei, owned by TS Lines, ran aground in rough weather near New Taipei City, Taiwan on March 10. All 21 crew members were rescued safely from the ship.

Salvage has focussed on the removal of fuel from the vessel, however heavy weather has hampered the pumping operations. Weather showed some signs of improvement on Saturday as the effort to cleanup and contain the oil continues around the clock. 

Photo: REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
Photo: REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
Photo: REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
Photo: REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
Photo: REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
Photo: REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
Photo: REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
Photo: REUTERS/Tyrone Siu