Nine months after the accident, a total of 10,080 tonnes of heavy fuel oil has been recovered from the front and rear sections of the hull at the expense of the French oil company. A Totalfina spokesperson told ENDS Daily that the first phase of the pumping operation, which removed 95-98% of the oil, was concluded on Sunday, three weeks ahead of schedule. "This has put any risk of a major oil pollution aside," he said. The second phase is scheduled to finish at the end of September and involves pumping the 2-5% of oil left in the wreck after using a biodegradable solvent to make the oil easy to pump, the spokesperson added.
The Erika ran onto rocks off the Brittany coast on 12 December (ENDS Daily 7 January) spilling some 12,000-15,000 tonnes of heavy fuel oil and triggering a review of European maritime safety.
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