Thousands mark Prestige disaster anniversary
14 November 2005, SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA — Thousands of people took to the streets to mark the third anniversary of the sinking of the Prestige, the worst environmental disaster in Spain's history.
14 November 2005
SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA — Thousands of people took to the streets to mark the third anniversary of the sinking of the Prestige, the worst environmental disaster in Spain's history.
Some 10,000 people, according to protest organizers, took to the streets to honour those who worked to clean up the spill. Police put the number of demonstrators at 7,000.
Protesters chanted "never again" amid fears that Galicia's coastline was vulnerable to similar environmental disasters in the future.
The leader of the Nunca Mais (Never Again) organization, Rafael Villar, read a declaration calling for a "clear and unequivocal commitment" from the government to deal with the effects of the spill and prevent a new one along the coast of Galicia, where some 13,000 ships carrying dangerous cargo sail every year.
The Prestige, owned by a Greek shipping company and registered in the Bahamas, was carrying 77,000 tons of fuel oil in its tanks when it sprang a leak on 13 November 2002, off the coast of the north western region of Galicia.
Less than a week later, the tanker broke in half and sank to a depth of some 4,000 metres (13,000 feet).
The tanker, lying in waters about 246 kilometers (153 miles) from Cape Finisterre, the westernmost point in Europe, spilled thousands of tons of fuel into the sea, polluting the Spanish, Portuguese and French coastlines.
The lawsuit in the Prestige case is still in the pre-trial phase.
Five people face charges in Spain in connection with the spill, and the Spanish government filed a EUR 0.85 billion (USD 1 bn) lawsuit in New York against the company that owned the tanker.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news