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Negligence and sabotage could be behind oil spill in Ecuador

Quito, Jul 20 (Prensa Latina) The PETROECUADOR fuel state company is currently delving into the causes of spilling 1,200 barrels of crude oil in the coastal Esmeraldas province, and is considering negligence, technical failure or sabotage among the possible hypotheses.

The company’s Manager Ramon Correa unfolded that a special commission has been formed to assess the spilling initial cause reiterating that the incident was related to a failure in the oil transportation system at the Balao terminal, which triggered 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 coming few days, they detailed.

On Thursday, the Minister of Environment Jose Davalos 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, Davalos said.

The minister reported that other endangered species are the Olive Ridley turtles, 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.