Mauritius: Oil spill cleanup continues
PIC: AFP

In a race against tides and time, workers pumped tons of fuel on Tuesday from a Japanese bulk carrier ship grounded in the shallow waters of Mauritius to try to prevent a renewed oil spill from further fouling the island's eastern lagoons and shore.

The Japanese ship, MV Wakashio, ran aground on a coral reef about a mile off Mauritius on July 25, and prolonged pounding by heavy surf caused the vessel to crack about two weeks later.

It spilled an estimated 1,000 tons of oil - about a quarter of the ship's total cargo - into the Indian Ocean.

Although the oil leak was stopped, the ship's hull was continuing to crack, prompting fears that the remaining fuel would gush into the sea.

By Tuesday, about 1,000 tons of the fuel had been pumped out of the stranded ship into small tankers nearby.

About 1,800 tons of fuel remained on the ship by midday and with efforts continuing, some experts expressed hope that all the fuel could be emptied from the ship before it breaks up.

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