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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 February 2006, 11:42 GMT
France raises 'toxic' ship doubts
The French aircraft carrier Clemenceau
France has offered to take back the Clemenceau's asbestos
The French defence minister has announced an inquiry to clarify how much asbestos was stripped from a French warship bound for India.

Michele Alliot-Marie said there was a 30-ton discrepancy between the amount a French firm said it had removed and the amount received at a waste site.

India wants more information before allowing the decommissioned aircraft carrier Clemenceau to enter its waters.

Environmentalists say dismantling the ship in India would be too dangerous.

The French minister said the French company contracted to remove the asbestos, Technopure, had refused to submit several documents about the weight discrepancy.

The Clemenceau is currently in the Arabian Sea. It left the French Mediterranean port of Toulon on 31 December and is due to arrive at Alang, in the western Indian state of Gujarat, in early March for dismantling.

India's supreme court has asked the country's defence ministry to form a panel to assess the amount of toxic waste on the ship.

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