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Singapore oil spill: Minister says most oil removed

Singapore’s Transport Minister said today (20 June) that much progress has been made in cleaning up the oil spill that happened six days ago.

Chee Hong Tat said in a Facebook post, “We have made progress in the clean-up, but it will still take some time before the oil will be completely removed. Currently, we are focused on cleaning up the oil slicks and sheens from water and land which are visible through drone surveillance and satellite imagery. In the next phase, we would need to flush out stranded oil, such as those on oil-stained rock bunds.”

Although oil around Pasir Panjang Container Terminal, where the oil spillage started, has been mostly cleared, officials in neighbouring Malaysia have stated that some oil has floated into its waters.

The spillage happened when Van Oord dredger Vox Maxima suffered a loss of propulsion and hit a stationary bunker tanker, Marine Honour, causing 400 tonnes of fuel oil to flow into the sea.

Johor Health and Environment Committee chairman Ling Tian Soon said that oil was noticed in waters off Sungai Rengit Beach on 18 June.

Ling said government agencies are working to contain the oil spill and if necessary, a beach-cleaning plan will be activated.

Tanjung Surat Assemblyman Aznan Tamin said the oil spill had spread to Kota Tinggi waters, also in Johor. He added he had chaired a meeting with district officers to alleviate the environmental impact.

Martina Li
Asia Correspondent

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