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Dubai firm in hot water over San Francisco oil spill

San Francisco: Clean-up crews working on the aftermath of Friday's oil spill in San Francisco Bay reported significant progress Sunday.
Some 422 gallons of oil spilled onto the deck of the Panamanian-flagged Dubai Star and into the water after a fuel line ruptured Friday during a fuel transfer, Coast Guard spokeswoman Sherri Eng said.
The ship in question, the 50,000 dwt Dubai Star, owned by Emirates Trading Agency is likely to be at the centre of a long drawn out, highly expensive investigation and fine, just like the Cosco Busan incident in the same city in 2007.
Clean up crews now think most of the oil is on the shoreline and not in the water, but they still have plenty of work to do.
The environmental toll is something they are still measuring. Crews say at least ten birds have died. They are almost positive there will be more.
Some of the oiled birds were at the Wildlife Care and Education Center in Fairfield Sunday. They take them there after they stabilize them at the scene where they were found. So far, they have found 30 live birds, most of them along the Alameda shoreline.
"If you do see any live animals that are found to be in distress or if you see any oil on beaches, do not approach the animals or the beach to try to engage in the oil," Josh Nicholas with the Department of Fish and Game said Sunday. "Doing so may further cause harm to the wildlife by scaring the animals back into the water and making any type of recovery for those animals even harder."
An error while refulling the Dubai Star led to more than 400 gallons of oil spilled Friday, creating an oil sheen about two miles long and 200 yards wide. Officials say there was a mechanical failure, although they are still investigating exactly what happened.  [02/11/09]


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