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Five indicted for Hebei Spirit oil spill

Five indicted for Hebei Spirit oil spill

Seoul: South Korean prosecutors are reported to have charged five people in conjunction with last month's oil spill from the Heibei Spirit in South Korea, writes AFP. The 269,605dwt Hebei Spirit suffered a collision with a barge on December 7, spilling about 10,900 tonnes of crude oil, linked to fouling along the Yellow Sea coast.

The skippers of the Samsung Heavy Industries-owned barge and of one of the tugs are said to have been arrested and charged with negligence and violating anti-pollution laws. The second tugboat captain was not detained but indicted on similar charges.

The captain and mate onboard the Heibei Spirit have reportedly been indicted but not detained for failing to follow safety orders from navigation authorities, the prosecutors said. SHI and Hong Kong-based Hebei Shipping are both said to have been indicted on charges of violating anti-pollution laws.

The tanker's insurer Skuld has agreed to pay up to 12bn won ($12.5m) for clean-up costs are paid by February 4, up till which time the VLCC has been impounded.  [22/01/07]