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India Coast Guard Cleaning Oil Leak off Mumbai

Mon, 08/08/2011 - 7:14am

MumbaiNEW DELHI (AP) — The Indian coast guard on Sunday began cleaning up oil leaking from a merchant ship that sank off Mumbai three days ago.

Two coast guard ships were using chemicals to clean up the oil spread over an area of 7 nautical miles, Navy spokesman Capt. Manohar Nambiar said.

"We have estimated that between 1.5 to 2 tons per hour of oil is leaking," Nambiar said.

The 740-foot (225-meter) vessel, which had been transporting coal from Indonesia to the western Indian state of Gujarat, was estimated to be carrying 325 tons of fuel oil and 56 tons of diesel, the coast guard said.

The navy rescued 30 crew members from Indonesia, Jordan and Romania after receiving a distress signal from the ship before it sank Thursday.

Local fishermen discovered the leak Saturday, prompting coast guard and navy helicopters to survey the area Sunday morning before launching the cleanup.

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