Thursday, June 17, 2010
A chemical tanker sank in an overnight collision with a cargo ship off Japan, but no-one was injured and there was no major environmental damage, the coast guard said Thursday. The 335-tonne Keiwa-maru collided with cargo ship Hamako-maru 15, which weighs 187-tonnes, at around 10:15 pm (1315 GMT) Wednesday in the inland sea between the main islands of Honshu and Shikoku.
Hamako-maru 15All five crew of the Keiwa-maru escaped to the cargo ship before their ship sank, the coast guard said. Some 350 cubic metres (12,400 cubic feet) of magnesium hydroxide from the Keiwa-maru was dumped into the sea but the substance should not significantly harm the environment, said a coast guard official. Keiwa-maru"It's almost like the coagulator used to make tofu soybean curd. It has no impact on the environment," he said of the substance, which can be used as a food additive, a fertiliser, and in medicines and construction. The coast guard was investigating the cause of the accident, the official added.