CNN BREAKING NEWS
Oil Tanker Splits, Spain Braces for Spill
Aired November 19, 2002 - 06:02 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Spain is bracing for an environmental disaster after a crippled oil tanker splits in two. It happened off the northwest coast of Spain.
CNN's Al Goodman joins us live by phone from Madrid with more.
Bring us up-to-date -- Al.
AL GOODMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Carol, before this split -- the ship, as you say, had been carrying about 77,000 tons of fuel oil. Now, that's not crude oil. It's a thicker, more-difficult-to-clean-up oil than crude oil. So, that compounds the problem.
It lost maybe 4,000 to 6,000 tons in the spill since last Wednesday. That's already out. So, when this happened today -- we have about 70,000 tons aboard and at least one tank has split open in this latest crack, we are being told by authorities, which means that perhaps at least another 5,000 -- that is double what has happened since last Wednesday -- is due.
Now, the only relieving news at this moment is that it is farther off the coast of Spain. It's about 130 to 150 miles off the coast, and it's there because Spanish authorities and the tugboats working pushed it out. They didn't want to let it come into shore and have an ecological disaster right on shore, which is what happened 10 years ago in the same area.
Now, this area, Carol, is known as the Coast of Death, and because it is filled with rocky outcroppings, it has stymied and bedeviled ships (ph) for a very long time. And this ship, the Prestige, flagged out of the Bahamas, seems to be the latest victim -- Carol.
COSTELLO: Yes, they heard a bump on board when they heard the crack occur, and then after it was being towed away, it just simply split in two.
Thank you, Al Goodman. I know you're busy out there, so we'll let you get back to your reporting work.
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