Tunisian authorities intensified efforts to avoid an environmental disaster after a merchant fuel ship carrying one thousand tons of fuel sank off the coast of Gabes.
The Tunisian navy had rescued all seven crew members from the ship, which was heading from Equatorial Guinea to Malta, and sent a distress call seven miles away from the southern city of Gabes, the sources added.
The environment ministry while speaking with newsmen said the cause of the incident was bad weather, adding that water had seeped into the ship, reaching a height of two meters.
The ministry said authorities are working to avoid an environmental disaster and reduce any impact and that barriers would be set up to limit the spread of fuel and cordon off the ship, before suctioning the spillage.
It was also reported that the coast of Gabes has suffered major pollution for years, with environmental organizations reporting that industrial plants in the area have been dumping waste directly into the sea.