Oil Spill Fears in Italian Port

Oil Spill Fears in Italian PortOil Spill Fears in Italian Port

Authorities in the Italian port of Genoa declared a state of emergency Saturday as they battled to prevent tons of crude oil from spilling into the Mediterranean in the heart of the Riviera coastline. The move came after a river barrier erected to contain the spillage from a pipeline leak at a local refinery on Sunday gave way as a result of heavy overnight rain, AFP reported.

“The situation is complicated. We do not know how much crude could end up in the sea,” local civil protection officer Gianni Crivello told reporters. “The Port authority has declared a local emergency.”

Genoa mayor Marco Doria said a plan to contain the spill was being implemented and appeared to be working.

“Presumably the oil already in the sea is from the first hours of the incident at the Iplom Refinery (on Sunday),” he said.

Local media have reported a series of slicks being spotted offshore to the west of Genoa.