Chemicals Tanker Sinks Near France

Oct. 31, 2000

An Italian tanker carrying 6,000 tons of toxic chemicals has sunk in the English Channel.

The crew reported a hole in the Ievoli Sun the previous day, after fierce winds of up to 93 mph had swept through the area. The tanker was in the process of being towed to France and was carrying 4,000 tons of styrene — a hydrocarbon used for making synthetic plastics — as well as isopropyl and methyl ethyl ketone.

Authorities sent a helicopter and rescue tug to aid the sinking vessel, but they were unable to reach it in time. The crew members eventually were air-lifted to safety.

Styrene is a possible carcinogen described as highly toxic and corrosive. But since it does not dissolve in water, the styrene should float to the surface where it could be recovered.


Photo 4645058 © Jennbang |
Photo 10945954 © Angelico Jurado |
Photo 11479540 © Nelson Alonso |
Photo 13444369 © Cammeraydave |