THOUSANDS of Vietnamese troops on Sunday helped clean oil off southern beaches as rescue workers sought to contain a spill from a capsised tanker and recover the bodies of nine more sailors, officials said.
One survivor and the bodies of five crew have been recovered since the Duc Tri, carrying 1,700 tonnes of crude oil, overturned in rough seas a week earlier, drifting off the coast near the resorts of Mui Ne and Vung Tau.
While authorities said the ship’s 10 oil tanks were believed intact, oil had seeped from the vessel’s engine system and blackened beaches along the southern coast, with rough seas hampering recovery and salvage operations.
’We have mobilised around 2,000 soldiers to cooperate with local people to collect clumps of congealed oil along the coast,’ said Colonel Le Minh Quang, head of the military command in Ba Ria Vung Tau province.
He said the troops had helped clean oil from the Bai Sau beach of Vung Tau, a popular South China Sea resort southeast of Ho Chi Minh City, and a base for Vietnam’s offshore oil industry.