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Tanker with more than 900 tons of oil sinks off UAE

ABU DHABI, January 24, 2000 (Reuters) - A Honduras-flagged tanker carrying more than 900 tons of oil sank off the United Arab Emirates Monday but all the crew were rescued, the UAE coast guard said.

Hassan Malallah, in charge of the coast guard operations room in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi, told Reuters the crew of five Iraqis, two Indians, a Bangladeshi and Tanzanian were safely picked up by the coastguard.

Malallah said the tanker Al Jazya 1 was owned by a Dubai-based firm that he identified as Al Jazya Marine Shipping Agency. A report by the official WAM news agency said the firm was based in Abu Dhabi.

Coastguard officials said the ship, which was heading for Somalia, was carrying a cargo of 900 tons of oil as well as fuel for its own use when it sank early Monday a few miles off the coast of Abu Dhabi.

WAM reported that between 200 tons and 300 tons of fuel leaked from the ship as it was sinking and oil was still seeping out of the vessel.

The agency quoted a statement from the UAE's federal environment agency as saying the authorities were working with Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (ADNOC) and other firms to mobilize equipment to combat the pollution caused by the leaking fuel.