The oil tanker "Franken," which belonged to Nazi Germany and sank during the Second World War, now poses a severe ecological threat to the Poland's shores and regional marine life, ecologists said in an interview with Polish TVN24. The 12mm thick hull of the vessel, which was carrying fuel and other chemical substances, has already lost 7mm due to extensive corrosion, the outlet reported.
Ecologists and divers believe that the oil tanker could collapse on one side, damaging one or several of its oil cisterns. According to their estimates, some 1.5 million liters of fuel could spill as a result of breaches in the walls of the cisterns; it is believed that the disaster could happen in the next 10-20 years. The spill could contaminate not only the nearby waters, but also shoreline of Gdansk Bay.
The oil tanker was sunk by Soviet aviation in April 1945. Ecologists have been raising the alarm regarding a possible ecological catastrophe for some time, but no action has been taken.