Stop everything, we have good news!

And even better: good news for the planet.

While we feared a monster oil spill off Tunisia, after the sinking of a tanker supposed to contain 750 tons of diesel, it appears that the latter was empty.

“The

Xelo

ship which sank in the Gulf of Gabès does not contain diesel and its tanks are empty,” the Tunisian Ministry of the Environment said in a press release.

“It poses no immediate pollution risk,” the ministry added.

According to the statement, the preparations that were underway to pump the diesel "will cease" and the authorities will now examine the possibility of raising and towing the wreck "in a later phase".

The ministry, which had itself announced on Saturday that the tanker was carrying 750 tonnes of diesel, raising fears of an oil spill, did not explain the reasons for this confusion.

A shipwreck that is still a mystery

The

Xelo

, which the Tunisian authorities said left for the port of Damietta in Egypt and was heading for Malta, sank on Saturday in Tunisian waters where it had taken refuge on Friday evening due to bad weather conditions.

For some unknown reason, this 58 meter long and 9 meter wide tanker, built in 1977, started to take on water.

Navy forces evacuated the seven crew members before the ship sank into the sea.

According to divers deployed on Sunday to carry out the inspection operations, the ship sank nearly 20 meters deep, in a horizontal position and “shows no cracks”, according to a press release from the Ministry of the Environment.

Tunisian justice has opened an investigation to determine the causes of this accident but also the nature of the tanker's activity and its journey in recent weeks.

The crew members of the ship, flying the flag of Equatorial Guinea, were banned from leaving Tunisia for a period of two weeks.

Several local media have recalled the proximity of the Gulf of Gabès to Libya, a major oil-producing country, whose coasts have been the scene of hydrocarbon trafficking in recent years.

World

Tunisia: A ship with 750 tons of diesel sinks off the coast, a dreaded oil spill

Planet

Tunisia: "No leak" spotted this Sunday on the shipwrecked tanker off the coast

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