Scientist warns huge tanker could spill 1 million barrels of oil into ocean

(ORDO NEWS) — A scientist is sounding the alarm about a huge oil tanker that he says is likely to dump about 40 million gallons of crude oil into the ocean.

Christopher Reddy, a senior fellow at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, wrote an article for CNN highlighting a decomposing oil tanker anchored off the coast of Yemen.

The ship, ironically named the FSO Safer, has been there since March 2015, when the nearby port city of Al Hudayda was taken over by a militant group known as the Houthi rebels.

The tanker is filled with more than a million barrels of crude oil, so it is of great concern to scientists, who fear that any accident involving the Safer tanker could result in it spilling into the ocean.

If there was any problem with the tanker, Reddy said it would be an “environmental disaster” worse than the catastrophic Exxon Valdez accident in 1989, which left hundreds of miles of the Alaskan coastline flooded with crude oil. That’s because the Safer carries four times as much oil as the Valdez.

“And in addition to harming aquatic life, many of its worst effects will directly affect people,” Reddy said.

He added that the spill would destroy fisheries throughout the region, which depend on it for food. In addition, toxic fumes can enter the air and cause illness in thousands of people.

However, according to the scientist, this is not the worst.

“Perhaps most ominously, the vessel is at risk of igniting and turning into a fireball that could erupt with great explosive force, causing even more potential environmental devastation,” Reddy adds with horror.

Luckily, the Houthi rebel leader agreed to allow barrels of Safer oil to be transferred to another ship. However, it depends on whether the United Nations raises the resources to make it happen.

Reddy said it was important that the UN take action quickly. In February of this year, almost the same tanker, the FSO Trinity Spirit, exploded and sank off the coast of Nigeria.


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