25 Aug 2012

Oil slick heading toward coastal resorts

11:50 am on 25 August 2012

An oil slick is heading toward tourist resorts on the west coast of Sri Lanka after a cargo ship sank offshore.

The Thermopylae Sierra sank on Thursday in bad weather, releasing an oil slick about 10km long.

The vessel had been moored off the west coast for three years in a dispute over a cargo of steel piping.

The BBC reports a recent court order prevented the ship from being towed to the east coast.

About 70 tonnes of fuel reportedly remained in its tanks.