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Toxic spill feared as chemical tanker stranded in Vietnam waters

The vessel with 30,000 tons of chemicals could sink off the central coastal province of Binh Thuan.

A tanker carrying nearly 30,000 tons of industrial chemicals remains tilted to its side after running aground off the south-central coast of Vietnam on Saturday.

The Vietnam National Search and Rescue Committee (VNSRC) said on Sunday afternoon that it was still working on a plan to salvage the distressed vessel off Binh Thuan Province.

According to VNSRC, the Caymanian chemical tanker, Chemroad Journey, was on its way from Singapore to China on Saturday when it ran aground just after 7:00 pm near Da Ty Islet, 28 nautical miles to the south of Phu Quy Island in Binh Thuan.

At the time of the incident, the ship was carrying nearly 30,000 tons of industrial chemicals, namely butyraldehyde, ethylene glycol, ethyl hexanol, and ethanol amine, as well as 170 tons of fuel oil and 113 tons of diesel oil.

A crew of 26 seamen, all of whom are Caymanian nationals, were aboard the vessel, which leaned 15.5 degrees to its left after the incident.

No injuries have been reported, and the ship’s captain has not sent out a distress signal, according to the VNSRC.

Contact has been maintained with the ship and the relevant authorities are prepared for an immediate response should further trouble arise.

The Command of the Vietnam Coast Guard dispatched a ship to the chemical tanker’s location on Sunday afternoon to monitor its activities.

The VNSRC has demanded the captain of Chemroad Journey not release its chemical load in order to free itself, as this would cause serious pollution in Vietnamese waters.

Vietnam’s Southern Center for Oil Spill Response has also docked two ships at Vung Tau Seaport to respond to any further developments.

The company that owns Chemroad Journey has hired Ho Chi Minh City-based sea transport company HIGH SEA and Japan’s NIPPON SALVAGE CO. LTD to carry out a rescue of their grounded tanker.

On Sunday night, a tugboat sailed from Vung Tau City with a crew of experts and engineers to begin the operation.

Article by VN Express

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