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Wrecked Philippine ferry oil slick spreading

Oil leaking from the the ro-pax ferry St Thomas Aquinas, which sank late last week with the loss of at least 50 lives, has spread to the coast of the Philippines, Reuters reports.

The ferry was carrying 120,000l of bunkers, 20,000l of lube oil and 20,000l of diesel when it collided with the dry cargo ship Sulpicio Express Siete on 16 August, and sank soon after.

Around 20% of the coastline of Cebu province has been affected by the slick, including waters used for fishing and recreational diving, beach resorts and 10 to 20 hectares of mangroves.

"We have no livelihood now because no one will buy the fish we haul, with a lot of bodies still in the water and oil in the sea," a local fisherman told Reuters.

The Philippines Coast Guard has started an investigation into the cause of the incident.

Posted 19 August 2013

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