A grounded cargo ship split in two and is leaking fuel oil a little more than two weeks after becoming stranded along the coast in northern Taiwan.
The vessel, owned by TS Lines, ran aground in rough weather near New Taipei City on March 10. All 21 crewmembers were rescued safely.
Authorities in Taiwan are trying to contain an oil leak from a grounded container. The 15,487-ton ship ran aground in a storm about 300 meters from the shore while traveling from Hong Kong to Keelung Port in Taiwan on March 10, according to Live News 24.
On Friday the ship broke apart, releasing heavy oil into the sea.
Authorities have attempted to clean up the leak, but stormy weather has hampered them. It left rescue boats unable to reach the wreckage on Friday to pump the oil.
Yeh Jiunn-hung, chief of the Environmental Protection Agency's Department of Water Quality Protection, said that in addition to 242 tons of heavy fuel, the ship contains toxic materials.
Environmentalists have warned that if the spill is not contained in time, the shipwreck, which is near a fishing port and a nuclear power plant, could damage the ecosystem for two to three years, reports SBS Australia online.