Crew Blamed for Red Sea Tanker Sinking

A Filipino captain and his crew have been blamed for the sinking of an oil tanker that broke in two and sank in the Red Sea, spilling 60 tons of its bunkers, a Suez Canal Co official said.

The captain of the Panamanian-flagged M/V ELLI said his crew was cleaning the cargo tanks when the ship suddenly "split in two for reasons yet unknown."

The Suez Canal official said, the captain and his crew are responsible for the sinking of the ship because they did not consider the vessel's equilibrium when they were cleaning the tanks."

The tanker was not transporting cargo and was on its way from Yemen to Suez for maintenance work and repairs.

An Egyptian maintenance gang has been cleaning up the spill, which is said not to be of major environmental issue because of the low density of the fuel.