A Norwegian tanker in the fleet of Bergen-based Odfjell Tankers spilled as much as 217 tons of heavy oil after it collided with the pier Sunday afternoon at the Port of Rotterdam. The company itself described the amount of oil spilled as “considerable.”
The accident occurred as the vessel Bow Jubail was maneuvering into the pier. The collision tore a hole in the hull of the tanker and oil “leaked out,” Geirmund Drivenes, global head of ship management for Odfjell, told state broadcaster NRK.
The leak was stopped and there was no danger of further spills from the tanker, according to harbour authorities, but they described the spill as a “serious” case of pollution. Clean-up efforts were expected to take at least a few days, if not weeks, they wrote in a press release.
Local TV stations were airing photos of birds covered with oil. There were 29 people on board the vessel when the collision occurred. No injuries were reported.
Drivenes said Odfjell’s top priority was to cooperate with local authorities to minimize the damage. “Our team is investigating why this occurred, along with the harbour officials in Rotterdam,” he told NRK.