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Nando Times

Diesel fuel spills off Trinidad

The Associated Press

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad (September 30, 2000 2:48 p.m. EDT - A barge has leaked an undetermined amount of marine diesel fuel off Trinidad's shore in the Gulf of Paria, officials said Saturday.

Ministry of Energy officials were surveying the area off northwestern Trinidad on Saturday, the Trinidadian Coast Guard said. By Saturday it had reached from an area outside Port-of-Spain about five miles up to Chaguaramas, on the Caribbean island's northeastern tip, Coast Guard officials said.

The fuel spill happened Thursday at the National Petroleum Marketing Co. in an area called Sea Lots, Coast Guard Lt. Ekmata Mooleedhar was quoted as saying in The Guardian newspaper Saturday. The Coast Guard has declined to identify the barge suspected of leaking the fuel.

Officials plan to release more details about the spill in coming days.

The area harbors hundreds of yachts, and the fuel coated the hulls of nearly 160 boats, said Amanda Shaw, manager of the Trinidad and Tobago Sailing Association.

Beaches along the northwest of Trinidad may have to be closed for several days for clean-up operations, Mooleedhar was quoted as saying.

-- Rachel Gibson (, September 30, 2000

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