A stranded cargo ship literally broke into two off the coast of Taiwan on Friday, raising environmental alarms as huge amounts of oil flowed freely into the sea.
The T.S. Taipei stopped running on March 10th after it ran aground near the coast off New Taipei City. Attempts to salvage the ship were unsuccessful, and last Thursday cracks began to appear, until the entire ship snapped in two the next day.
The ship is continuing to break up, alarming Taiwan’s EPA who say that it still holds 242 tonnes of heavy oil on board, along with other toxic materials including tolune and potassium perchlorate, according to Focus Taiwan.
As if this wasn’t all bad enough, officials are worried that the oil will get sucked up into the cooling water of a nearby nuclear power plant.
The owner of the vessel, T.S. Lines Co, and the EPA have sent over teams of workers to help extract the hundreds of remaining containers on board, as well as to clean up the environmental damage that the ship has already done.
According to China Post, people have noticed that rocks more than 1.5 kilometers from the crash site are already covered with oil, and a unpleasant odor hangs in the air.
Cheng Sha-yen, a professor at the Department of Environmental Biology and Fisheries Science at National Taiwan Ocean University, believes that the disaster will take another four or five years to clean up, China Post reports. Which isn’t good news for the fishers and diners of Greater Taipei, because the affected area is home to more than 80% of the seafood the city consumes.
The broken ship has since been documented via drone by Freediver HD on YouTube. Check out the footage below:
[Video via YouTube]