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OIL

Öland ship accident prompts oil leak fears

A container ship ran aground near the Baltic island of Öland early Thursday morning, managing to stay afloat but prompting fears that it could spill oil into the sea.

The 100-metre ship was carrying mostly aluminium when it incorrectly navigated the Krongrundet shallows.

The coast guard in Kalmar on Swedish mainland received the alarm at 3.10am.

The ship was immediately evacuated of six of its nine crew members.

At 6am the captain and two crew members were still aboard the ship, reported news agency TT.

Despite a flooded machine room the ship has stayed afloat.

The coast guard remains on the scene to monitor any potential spill.

“The hull is intact, but the water inside is pressing on the oil on board, and there is a big risk that it will leak,” coast guard spokesperson Christer Ekeroth told the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper.

The ship is carrying about 100 cubic metres of oil.

TT/The Local/at

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ACCIDENT

Grounded Finland ferry refloated and heading back to port

UPDATE: A ferry that ran aground next to islands between Finland and Sweden with nearly 430 crew and passengers on board, was refloated and heading for port, its owners said Sunday.

Grounded Finland ferry refloated and heading back to port
The Viking Line ship Grace hit rocks in in the Aland archipelago. Photo AFP

The Viking Line's “Grace” hit rocks on Saturday afternoon while sailing between the Finnish port of Turku and the Swedish capital Stockholm, shortly before a stopover in Mariehamn, in the Aland archipelago, Finland's coast guard said.

The passengers had to spend the night on board, though there was no immediate danger as it was not taking on water. No one was hurt in the incident.

A tug boat helped refloat the ferry in the small hours of Sunday morning, the coast guard said on Twitter.

After disembarking around 260 passengers at Mariehamn, it went on to its home port of Turku in Finland, a Viking Line spokeswoman told AFP Sunday. It would undergo repairs in the coming days, she added.

Although the cause of the accident has yet to be established, the coast guard said there were strong winds in the area at the time.

The company cancelled its Saturday ferry service, which was to have been taken by a smaller vessel, because of a storm warning.

In September, another Viking Line ferry, the Amorella, ran aground on the same Aaland Island and the passengers had to be evacuated.

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