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Fleet Management in hot water over San Francisco cover up

Fleet Management in hot water over San Francisco cover up

Hong Kong: The Hong Kong company that managed the Cosco Busan, the ship that struck the Bay Bridge and spilled fuel oil into the water last November, has been indicted on new charges.

The Department of Justice said Wednesday that a federal grand jury in San Francisco indicted Fleet Management Ltd. with negligently causing the fuel spill -- 50,000 gallons that contaminated the bay and killed about 2,000 birds -- and with falsifying documents after the accident to try and hide its negligence.

The DOJ said in the charges that Fleet Management "created falsified plans after the crash and covered up the real ship records."

Fleet Management was charged with six felony counts in the indictment for making false statements and obstructing justice. The company is charged as a co-defendant with Captain John Cota, the pilot on the ship at the time of the crash.

The felony charges carry a maximum penalty of $500,000 per count or twice the gross loss caused by the offense.

No date for the company to appear in court to answer the charges has been set.  [24/7/08]