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Negligence and sabotage could be behind oil spill in Ecuador

Quito, Jul 20 (Prensa Latina) The state-owned company Petroecuador is investigating the causes of the spill of 1,200 barrels of crude oil in the coastal province of Esmeraldas and is considering negligence, technical failure or sabotage among the possible hypotheses.

According to the manager of that company, Ramón Correa, a special commission has been formed to evaluate the root cause of the spill and reiterated that the event was related to a failure in the oil transportation system at the Balao terminal, which caused the environmental disaster on the beaches of that area.

The state oil company informed that so far they have recovered 50% of the spilled barrels, although a final estimate will be available in the next few days, they detailed.

This Thursday, the Minister of Environment, José Dávalos, warned that some crabs, fish and birds were affected by the spill.

The fuel slick has expanded for at least four linear kilometers of Las Palmas beach, the main beach of the canton, he said.

Other endangered species are the Olive Ridley turtles – Dávalos warned- which usually nest on the beach, which now has black sand because of the oil.

The Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) is in vulnerable conservation status, according to the categories of the International Union for Conservation of Nature.


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