A ship sailing under the Panamanian flag ran aground near a port in northern Japan and has an oil leak, the Japan Coast Guard said, adding that the oil has not yet reached shore.
All 21 members of the ship’s crew were rescued and no injuries were reported, but footage from the scene shows the ship split in two.
Efforts are being made to control the oil leak, authorities said.
Photographs taken by the Coast Guard showed the 39,910-ton Panamanian ship, Crimson Polaris, divided into two parts, with the rear of the freighter floating in the sea. Polaris was transporting wood chips from Thailand before running aground in the Japanese port of Hachinohe.
Nearly 24 hours after it came to a stop, a 5.1 km by 1 km thick swath of oil started from the ship and appeared on the hull Thursday morning, the Coast Guard said. Containment measures are being carried out using patrol boats.
According to a Kyodo News report, the ship’s crew initially managed to refloat the ship from port. However, compounded by bad weather that forced difficulties in moving the freighter, it soon became impossible for the crew to navigate and drop anchor. 4 kilometers from the coast, the report adds.