The inspection of the trawler stranded near the Mauritian capital Port-Louis, with 130 tonnes of fuel on board, will begin "
" in order to detect possible leaks, Fisheries Minister Sudheer Maudhoo said on Monday.
Mauritius experienced one of the worst maritime pollution in its history seven months ago with the grounding of the MV Wakashio, which dumped 1,000 tonnes of fuel in its turquoise waters and angered residents.
On Sunday around 5:30 p.m., the Lurong Yuan Yu, a Chinese flag trawler, ran aground on a reef facing Pointe-aux-Sables (North-West), near Port-Louis.
It contains no cargo but 130 tonnes of fuel oil and 5 tonnes of lubricants.
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There are traces of oils around the Lurong Yuan Yu. Divers will soon be inspecting the ship to see if there are any cracks,
" Sudheer Maudhoo said at a press conference on Monday at noon.
He qualified the pumping of fuel oil as a "
" and specified that 300 meters of floating tubes were deployed around the ship, confirming the observations on the spot of an AFP correspondent.
The latter also noted that coast guards and soldiers were mobilized Monday morning in Pointe-aux-Sables.
Residents said they saw traces of oil reaching the shore.
The minister did not give further details on the circumstances of the incident.
The police are also on board to seize all the documents and an investigation has been opened,
" he added.
The MV Wakashio, a Japanese bulk carrier, ran aground on July 25, 2020 on a coral reef near Esny Point, on the southeast coast.
It contained 3,800 tonnes of fuel oil and 200 tonnes of diesel, which quickly began to leak but were mostly pumped out.
The case had aroused the ire of Mauritians, already fed up by the corruption and nepotism scandals that punctuate Mauritian politics, especially in the context of the fight against Covid-19.
On August 29, a demonstration brought together between 50,000 and 75,000 people in Port Louis to denounce the management of the oil spill by the government of Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth.
Such a gathering had not been seen since 1982.
Dismantling of the bulk carrier's stern is nearing completion - its bow and hull have been sunk offshore - and fuel cleaning operations have been completed.