New Zealand Scrambles to Prevent Oil Spill

Posted October 7th, 2011 at 4:20 am (UTC-5)
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New Zealand officials say the country is facing an environmental disaster, as a stranded container ship threatens to break up and leak hundreds of tons of heavy fuel.

Officials say none of the 25 crew members on board were injured when the Liberian-flagged ship hit a reef off the coast of Tauranga on New Zealand's North Island Wednesday. The 47,000-ton “Ranga” is carrying 1,700 tons of fuel oil and threatens a pristine marine environment that is home to whales, dolphins, seals and penguins.

Transport Minister Steven Joyce has warned residents on the Bay of Plenty coastline that the situation with the oil is going to get worse before it gets better.