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EDITIONS
Tuesday, 29 October, 2002, 10:03 GMT
Oil leak kills seabirds
oiled sea bird
More than 50 sea birds have been washed up
A clean-up operation has begun on the Cumbrian coast after oil was washed up on to beaches.

More than 40 dead sea birds have already been found after oil from a power station on the Isle of Man found its way to the coast at Whitehaven.

The alert was raised by walkers who came across sea birds covered in fuel oil.

Officials in the Isle of Man have confirmed the pollution followed a leak of about 45-tonnes of fuel oil from the Pulrose station in Douglas.

Public warned

A spokesman for Copeland Borough Council said: "Heavy fuel oil was found to have leaked from the power station in Douglas.

"The oil has managed to reach the shores of Whitehaven and has killed some local wildlife.

"We have teams out trying to clear up the oil, which has unfortunately claimed the life of dozens of sea birds.

"The worst affected areas are the North and South shores and the Golden Sands."

George Scott of the Knox Wood sanctuary says a number of oil-covered birds have been saved.

But he said many more were still in need of treatment.

Council officials have issued warnings to the public to stay away from the area during the clean-up.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Judy Ingham
"Over 40 birds were victims of the thick oil"

Click here to go to BBC Cumbria
See also:

11 Nov 01 | Science/Nature
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