Vietnam recovers 3 bodies, sends soldiers to clean up tanker oil spill

http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/03/08/asia/AS-GEN-Vietnam-Oil-Spill.php 

HANOI, Vietnam: Vietnam dispatched soldiers Saturday to clean up beaches polluted by oil spilling from a capsized tanker, as authorities tried to recover the bodies of 13 sailors who died in the accident.

Rescuers have retrieved three bodies since the vessel capsized six days ago, and while they know where to find the other 10, operations to recover them were suspended Saturday because of the rough seas, said Trinh Vu Anh, an official at the government’s oil spill response agency.

Oil spilling through the ship’s ventilation system has polluted dozens of kilometers (miles) of coastline in Ba Ria Vung Tau province, 120 kilometers (75 miles) southeast of Ho Chi Minh City.

“We have mobilized soldiers and local people to clean up,” Anh said, “It is lucky that most of the oil remains aboard.”

The remaining oil from the tanker will only be pumped after the remaining corpses have been removed from the vessel and brought to land, Anh said.

“The waves are as high as more than two meters. The ship could break easily if it hits rocks,” he said. “That situation would be very bad because all the oil would spill out,” he said.

The tanker, which capsized Sunday, was carrying 1,500 metric tons (1,700 tons) of diesel from Ho Chi Minh City to Danang.

The cause of the accident was being investigated.

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