Two merchant ships collided with each other around 28km off the coast of the French island Corsica, resulting in a fuel spill in the Mediterranean Sea.
The incident occurred when a Tunisian ship, laden with trucks of merchandise, collided with a Cypriot container ship, CSL Virginia.
The Cypriot ship was anchored about 30km off the northern tip of the island, according to a statement issued by regional naval authorities.
So far, no injuries have been reported due to the collision.
The accident caused a hole several yards long in the hull of one of the ships, leading to an oil spillage that left a trail of pollution stretching 4km long and several hundred metres wide.
An investigation has been launched to determine the cause of the collision.
However, an unnamed source told French news agency AFP that the collision may have happened because the Tunisian ship was possibly “going too fast compared to its ability to react.”
Authorities from France, Italy, and Monaco have begun work to contain the fuel spill.
Though the incident occurred in French waters, Monaco and Italy have joined the cleanup exercise under an agreement that is aimed at mutual cooperation in fighting pollution in the Mediterranean region.
Two French vessels are engaged in the clean-up operation, with assistance from an aircraft belonging to the Italian coastguard.
Based on the operator CTN’s published shipping schedule, the Tunisian vessel was travelling from Genoa in Italy to the Tunisian port at Rades near Tunis.