17 Oct 2014

Authorities race to contain oil spill in Pago Pago Harbour

7:45 pm on 17 October 2014

The American Samoa coastguard is cleaning up a major oil spill caused by the collision of two purse seiners at the main dock in Pago Pago Harbour this morning.

Our correspondent, Monica Miller, says the operator of one of the purse seiners had difficulty controlling his vessel when it lost power.

Pago Pago, American Samoa

Pago Pago Harbour. Photo: Wikipedia

She says the operator tried to avoid hitting the dock, and instead rammed into the bow of another vessel which caused fuel to leak into the ocean.

One crew member was knocked over and broke his leg.

Ms Miller says it is not known how much fuel leaked, but it was enough to spread into much of the harbour because of strong winds.

"They've spent the whole day trying to contain the oil spill and it's extended to the whole Pago Pago Harbour. Certainly if you're in the Pago Pago Harbour today you can smell the smell of fuel in the ocean."

Monica Miller says the coastguard is investigating the incident.