Malaysia Says Tanker Leak Halted

From Associated Press

Authorities on Saturday said a highly toxic chemical that destroyed dozens of seafood farms in southern Malaysia over the last three days has stopped leaking from a tipped-over tanker.

Damon Nori Masood, a senior port official in the southern state of Johor, said waters were now free of the solvent phenol, which leaked from a tanker as it lay on its side in shallow water near a busy sea lane between Singapore and Malaysia.

It was too early to say why the leak had stopped or how it had happened, Damon said.

It is not known how much of the ship's cargo of 661 tons of phenol has leaked out since it toppled over early Wednesday about 50 yards from partly submerged wooden cages used to breed mussels and other seafood.

Authorities in Singapore and Malaysia have banned the sale of seafood from the zone.

On Saturday, Damon said plans to pump the phenol from the Indonesian-registered Endah Lestari were still on hold until authorities are certain that further movements on the vessel will not trigger another spill.

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