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    FUEL PUMPED FROM DAMAGED BELGIAN SHIP OFF SAKHALIN

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    YUZNO-SAKHALINSK, September 16 (RIA Novosti's Pyotr Tsyrendorzhiyev) - Fuel from two damaged tanks of the Belgian ship Cristoforo Colombo is being pumped out. The vessel ran aground during a storm at the southwestern part of Sakhalin Island (the Russian Far East) on September 8, about 50m from the town of Kholmsk, the headquarters for eliminating the emergencies told RIA Novosti Thursday.

    Petroleum has stopped leaking from the ship. A double boom defense has been set up around the ship to prevent the nearly 200 metric tons of crude and diesel from entering the Gulf of Tatary. Apart from that, oil slicks on the surface of the water are being removed with absorbing substances.

    Specialists from the Sakhalin emergency and rescue department are working on the ship.

    A voluntary student group from Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk is helping in the cleanup of the 5km part of the shore polluted by oil. Ecological groups from the Kholmsk youth associations are also helping cleanup.

    Apart from that, local residents and workers at nearby companies are helping the specialists because the headquarters asked help. Everyday, about 100 people are involved in the cleanup. They have already cleaned part of a boulevard in the center of the town.

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