Leak of 110 tons of diesel fuel in Nile after barge sinks in Aswan
Mahmoud El Gaafari
A Nile Petroleum Company barge carrying 224 tons of diesel fuel has sunk north of Aswan near the village of Abu al-Reesh whilst attempting to dock in the new Nile Corniche area. The accident resulted in a leak of 110 tons of diesel into the waters of the Nile, forming large oil slicks around the islands and aquatic plants in the area. The river’s current spread the spill northwards covering an area of approximately one km square.
Due to the spill, all drinking water plants in the governorate were shut down, until clean-up measures were completed, to prevent diesel contaminated water from being drawn into the plants. Neighboring governorates will be notified so they can take all necessary measures.
Civil defense squads, security forces and specialized teams from the River Transportation Company arrived at the site to help unload the rest of the cargo and transport it by crane to another barge. The media were prevented from reaching the site by security forces that surrounded the area.
Aswan Governor Major General Mustafa al-Saeed said all river water used in drinking water plants is being sampled and analyzed repeatedly to ensure its safety for human use. He also said the spill was under control and that the operation of all drinking water plants had been resumed.
Petroleum and the ongoing threat of Nile pollution