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Industrial oil is leaking from a sunken tanker near Oriental Mindoro: PCG

Following the sinking of the MT Princess Empress on Tuesday, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) revealed on Thursday that there had been an industrial fuel oil spill in the waters close to Naujan town in Oriental Mindoro province.

A tug boat outfitted to handle oil spills, MTUG Titan, is still using a dispersant in the affected waters, according to a situation update from the PCG.

“During the coastline survey conducted by the PCG in Pinamalayan, it discovered spots of emulsified oil,” the statement read.

According to the report, the oil spill has so far covered an area of around one hectare in the waters close to the nearby island of Sibale in the province of Romblon.

Industrial oil, which is heavier and less refined than diesel or gasoline and is used for industrial purposes like heating or power production, was previously claimed to be carried by the MT Princess Empress at roughly 800,000 liters.

Rear Admiral Armando Balilo, a spokesman for the PCG, stated that an industrial oil spill of this magnitude could result in an “environmental catastrophe” and reaffirmed that the PCG, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and partners in the private sector are cooperating to address the incident.

Earlier, the PCG, DENR, and Philippine Navy sent MTUG Titan, BRP Melchora Aquino, and other aircraft and aquatic resources to the region to assess the extent of the oil spill and to remove the oil using mechanical oil spill recovery.

When traveling from Bataan province to Iloilo province, MT Princess Empress had engine issues brought on by overheating.

Due to choppy seas, the ship drifted towards Balingawan Point in Naujan before partially sinking and sinking completely on Wednesday.

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