Kan news says that the Minerva Helen, said to be involved in major oil spill near Copenhagen in 2008, is under investigation; shipping company denies involvement in both incidents
The Kan public broadcaster reported Monday that the Greek-owned Minerva Helen, which started its working life in 2004, is suspected in this month’s incident and was previously involved in a major oil spill just off Copenhagen, Denmark, in January 2008.
That earlier spill, of 200 tons of oil, (just over 200,000 liters), took place when a hose broke while oil was being loaded onto another vessel.
Approached by Kan, the Greek company that owns the ship denied any involvement in the suspected spill off the coast of Israel, saying, “We are not the source of the leak,” and additionally denied responsibility for the incident off the Danish coast.
Channel 12 news said that European organizations helping Israel with inquiries could pinpoint the suspect “possibly soon” and those responsible could be indicted.
On Monday evening, a cabinet meeting to discuss emergency funding for the cleanup saw political mudslinging and the refusal of the Finance Ministry to approve the Environmental Protection Ministry’s request. The meeting ended without a decision and a phone vote was expected to take place later on Tuesday.
Reports of the pollution on Israel’s coast emerged on Thursday when a dead 17-meter baby fin whale washed up on Israel’s southern coast, along with other wildlife.
The government on Sunday advised Israelis to avoid all Mediterranean beaches from north to south due to the pollution.