As the weather improved off the Taiwanese coast on Sunday, salvors were able to resume pumping out heavy oil and fuel from the container ship T.S. Taipei that ran aground on March 10. The vessel broke in two on March 24 and has been leaking fuel oil into the sea.
Removing nine containers from the grounded ship that contain toxic materials is a priority, and a 450-ton crane ship will arrive on scene by Thursday.
The T.S. Lines 15,487-ton ship ran aground in a storm about 300 meters from the shore while it was sailing from Hong Kong to Keelung Port in Taiwan. All 21 crew members were evacuated safely, but a helicopter crashed during the subsequent clean-up operation has killing two and seriously injured another.
Stormy weather has hampered efforts to remove fuel from the vessel which contains around 240 tons fuel oil and 35 tons of lube oil.
Some of the vessel’s 600 shipping containers have fallen overboard, and Taiwanese authorities report that some of the remaining containers contain 20 tons of potassium perchlorate, 18.2 tons of toluene, 19.5 tons of fats, 8.5 tons of corrosive liquids, six tons of flammable lubricants and 11 tons of paint.
The wreck is near a fishing port, and over 100 people are working to contain the spill. Heavy oil from the ship has already polluted a stretch of about two kilometers along the northeastern shore of the Shihmen area.