Tokyo, Aug 12 (EFE).- A freighter stranded in the waters of an Aomori port, in northern Japan, split in two Thursday and caused a fuel spill into the sea, according to authorities.
The Crimson Polaris, a 39,910-ton cargo ship, ran aground Wednesday while sailing in the port of Hachinohe, in Aomori prefecture and four kilometers from the Japanese coast, Japanese coastguards said.
The cargo ship, under the Panamanian flag but operated by a Japanese company, transported wood from Thailand and was to be refloated Thursday after being stranded.
However, a section of the stern of the ship detached Thursday morning, splitting the ship in two and pouring fuel into the sea, according to the coastguards, adding that the spill would have spread across about five kilometers.
The 21 crew members of the freighter, Chinese and Filipino nationals, were rescued by the coastguards.
Public broadcaster NHK said security forces are investigating whether the ship is at risk of sinking and are working to prevent a collision with other ships anchored around it.
The broadcaster said fishermen in the area who await the arrival of September to begin the squid catching season, among others, were concerned about the spill. EFE