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Oil spill crisis multiplied tenfold

Posted March 14, 2009 12:29:00
Updated March 14, 2009 13:08:00

The Queensland Government says an oil spill along the state's south-east coast is 10 times worse than first thought.

It has also been confirmed that two of the Pacific Adventurer's fuel tanks were damaged in rough seas on Wednesday.

The oil spill was originally thought to have been about 20,000 litres, with one fuel tank damaged, but late yesterday the shipping company involved doubled that figure.

Queensland's Deputy Premier Paul Lucas has today confirmed the crisis is even worse.

"They originally told us 20 to 30 tonnes," he said.

"It is now apparent that it was about 230 tonnes."

Oil has caked about 60 kilometres of beaches along the coast.

Moreton Island - about 40 kilometres off Brisbane - is the worst affected.

About 350 workers are trying to remove the sludge but it is a slow process and most of it has to be done by hand to avoid further damage to the environment.

Moreton Island resident Amanda Graham says she does not understand how the container ship the Pacific Adventurer lost part of its load causing the disaster.

"The containers can't have been strapped down, they go through bigger seas than what we had," she said.

Most beaches on the Sunshine Coast are closed.

Tags: disasters-and-accidents, accidents, accidents, environment, pollution, water-pollution, qld, brisbane-4000, cape-moreton-4025, tangalooma-4025

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