PALMA
THE political spat over the regional and central government's response to the Ibizan oil slick caused by the sinking of the Don Pedro continued yesterday while the clean-up operation was stepped up with even more resources being moved to the island.

Clean up crews have been at work since Wednesday when the Don Pedro merchant ship sank off the port of Ibiza, releasing 150 tonnes of fuel oil into the sea.

Three beaches on the popular resort island remained closed and the slick has reached the Ses Salines nature reserve.
A special Dutch salvage ship Jacomina chartered by the shipping company Iscomar, the owners of the Don Pedro, started pumping fuel oil out of the sunken cargo ship's tanks and another salvage ship was expected to reach Ibiza last night.

Divers were continuing to seal all the leaks in the ship while a special spotter plane was being used to monitor the slick's movements from the air.
The World Wildlife Fund/Adena said that, as soon as the fuel has been pumped out of the stricken ship, the Don Pedro has be re-floated as quickly as possible to protect the marine life from further pollution caused by the corrosion of the vessel.

The Transport Minister Magdalena Alvarez, said yesterday that the ship's tanks had practically been completely sealed and that no more fuel was seeping into the sea.

The three beaches which have been closed since the accident should be re-opened within the next few days, according to the Minister, once the authorities have received the results of the latest analysis of the bathing water.

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