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North Cyprus oil leak contaminates miles of coastline

23 July 2013

A Turkish company has sent a boat to help clean-up efforts along the Turkish Cypriot coastline, where a tanker spilled more than 100 tons of fuel oil late on July 16. The spill occurred as the tanker offloaded fuel at a power station in the Turkish-controlled north of the Mediterranean island, Turkish Cypriot Environment Minister Mehmet Harmanci told Reuters. 

The company says the spill occurred due to a problem with the pressure but it may have been due to an improper connection, Harmanci said, adding that human error has not been ruled out. Local authorities are struggling to contain the 7 kilometre slick area and clean-up materials, including solvents, were being sent from Turkey.

The tanker was delivering fuel to the Kalecik power plant owned by Aksa Enerji, which has asked an unidentified company to contain and clean up the spill, and a barrier had been established to contain the oil.

The spill occurred near the town of Bafra, next to a nature reserve that serves as a breeding ground for rare turtles that lay their eggs on beaches in July and August.

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