Wed 21 Dec 2005
TThe Danube river faces an ecological crisis after the
sinking of the Slovak cargo ship Polana near the port of
Rousse. The ship sank yesterday morning after fire broke
out on Monday. There is a real danger of a fuel spill. The
ship was carrying 45 tons of diesel fuel. The fuel is now
located in the reservoir of the ship. Oil slicks appeared
on the water surface yesterday. Rousse experts rejected
reports by Romanian media that a kilometre-long oil spill
had already formed on the river surface.
The fire which broke out in the machine department of Polana
was extinguished with the help of emergency teams from Bulgaria,
Romania and Ukraine. One option for extinguishing the fire
included scuttling the ship, but Romanian authorities rejected
this as the ship was located on Romanian territory.
Yesterday morning, Polana sank by itself, its hull damaged
by high temperatures, Novinar newspaper reported.