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Last Updated: Friday, 3 March 2006, 12:32 GMT
New concern over tanker spillage
The Ece is heavily-listing
The Ece is lying about 70m down
A chemical spillage from a tanker wrecked off Guernsey could be worse than first expected, a marine scientist has said.

The Ece sank while being towed to Le Havre with 80 tonnes of fuel and 10,000 tonnes of phosphoric acid on board.

The impact was hoped to be minimal but after an underwater study, there are now concerns about the rate of leakage.

Dr Boris Kelly-Gerreyn of the UK National Oceanography Centre said it could lead to marine organism deaths.

'Large lunch'

"There are two possible outcomes. One, it could promote the growth of toxic algae blooms which are particularly bad for shellfish," he said.

"Or it could lead to the loss of oxygen from the actual water leading to the death of other marine organisms, including fish.

"On the good side, with the increase in marine plants you could actually end up with quite a large lunch group for the rest of the food chain."

The Ece was badly damaged in January following a collision with a cargo ship off the north west coast of Guernsey.

A British research ship then carried out a survey at the site, after French authorities ordered the Ece's Turkish owners to take action to minimise the effects of the sinking.

French divers had found a 5m (16ft 4in) hole below its waterline, although there was no leak of the phosphoric acid at the time.

See the sinking ship

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16 Feb 06 |  Guernsey
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31 Jan 06 |  Guernsey
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31 Jan 06 |  Guernsey

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