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Police book Samsung and Hosco for Korea's worst oil spill

Police book Samsung and Hosco for Korea's worst oil spill

Seoul: Samsung Heavy Industries and Hebei Ocean Shipping Company have been booked on charges of violating the marine pollution prevention law, the Taean Coast Guard said this week. 'The Samsung Heavy Industries barge ignored its duty to take shelter in a safer place when the weather is bad and crashed into the oil tanker,' said a police officer to local media. 'The two tugboats that were pulling the barge were also owned by Samsung Heavy Industries.' The Hong Kong-registered shipping company, owner of the oil tanker, Hebei Spirit, failed to respond to an emergency call from a coastal control center, a violation of proper safety procedures, the police said. The coast guard earlier arrested the captains of the tugboat and the barge and booked the captain of another tugboat, as well as the captain and the first mate of the Hong Kong-registered oil tanker, on charges of violating maritime laws.
The barge crashed into the oil tanker in the Yellow Sea near Taean, South Chungcheong, on December 7, causing the nation's worst-ever oil spill. The case was handed to prosecutors on Wednesday. 'We plan to reinvestigate the case from scratch. If we find additional charges, we will file additional indictments,' said Park Chung-geun, head of the Seosan branch office of the Daejeon Public Prosecutors' Office. Meanwhile, the decontamination work, which had been suspended due to heavy snow and strong winds, resumed Wednesday after three days. According to the Coast Guard, 30,000 residents, soldiers and volunteer workers were dispatched to the scene. [04/01/08]


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