Grounded Mauritius ship operator apologises for oil leak

The operator of a Japanese bulk carrier which ran aground off Mauritius in the Indian Ocean apologised on Sunday for a major oil spill which officials and environmentalists say is creating an ecological disaster.

The MV Wakashio, operated by Mitsui OSK Lines, struck the reef on Mauritius’ southeast coast on July 25.

“We apologise profusely and deeply for the great trouble we have caused,” Akihiko Ono, executive vice president of Mitsui OSK Lines said at a new conference in Tokyo.

He added that the company would “do everything in their power to resolve the issue”.

At least 1,000 tonnes of oil is estimated to have leaked from the ship onto the waters surrounding Mauritius. Some 500 tonnes of oil have been salvaged from the ship, but there are still 2,500 tonnes remaining on the ship.

Neither Mitsui OSK Lines nor Nagashiki Shipping, the ship’s owner, could confirm the cost of damages from the oil spill.

Mauritius declared a state of “environmental emergency” on Friday following the accident.

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