Crew blamed for Red Sea tanker sinking
The captain and crew of an oil tanker that broke in two and sank in the Red Sea, spilling 60 tonnes of its own fuel, were responsible for the accident, a Suez Canal Co official said on Saturday.
The Filipino captain of the Panamanian-flagged Elli had been quoted as saying crew members were cleaning the cargo tanks on Friday when the ship suddenly "split in two for reasons yet unknown."
A Suez Canal official said on Saturday: "The crew of the boat and its captain are responsible for the sinking of the ship because they did not consider the vessel's equilibrium when they were cleaning the tanks."
The Elli was on its way from Yemen to Suez for maintenance work and some repairs, the official said, adding that it was not transporting any cargo at the time.
The 24-member crew were rescued
On Saturday, an Egyptian maintenance gang was working to clean up the spill, which was said not to be of major environmental significance because of the low density of the fuel.