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Siphoning of spilled oil put off until November

October 4, 2006

By Joyce Pangco Pañares

CONTRACTORS will not be able to start siphoning out the 1.8-million liters of bunker fuel in the cargo hold of the sunken Solar I until late November, Defense Secretary Avelino Cruz said yesterday.

“It will take about five to six weeks for the engineering work to be finished, and then another four weeks… for the actual siphoning off,” said Cruz, also chairman of Task Force Guimaras.

An estimated 200,000 liters of fuel has already leaked out of the tanker, polluting coastlines, fishing grounds and mangroves in the country’s worst ecological disaster.

Cruz tried to play down the danger that the remaining cargo would be disgorged into the waters off Guimaras, but admitted that Japanese experts had told him that the oil was coming out of the tanker in tickles.

“There are droplets of oil that are coming out every so often. That is a very minimal leak,” he said.

(For the full story, click Mla Standard Today, Oct. 4, 2006.)

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