Brazilian navy refloats tanker in Antarctica

March 5th, 2012 - 2:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Brasilia, March 5 (IANS/EFE) A tanker that had sunk in Antarctica has been refloated and docked, the Brazilian navy said Sunday.

The tanker, carrying about 10,000 liters of fuel, had sunk near the base in Antarctica that was destroyed by a fire late last month.

“No environmental damage was caused” by the operation to refloat the tanker Saturday, the navy said in a statement.

State-controlled oil giant Petrobras assisted in the salvage operation and will transport the fuel to Rio de Janeiro, the navy said.

The cause of the tanker’s sinking in December has not been determined.

The tanker sank while transporting fuel to Comandante Ferraz Antarctic Station.

The scientific research station, which began operations in 1984, was nearly destroyed by a fire apparently caused by a generator.

The fire killed navy non-commissioned officers Carlos Alberto Vieira Figueiredo and Roberto Lopez dos Santos, while a third non-commissioned officer, Luciano Gomes Medeiros, was injured but is out of danger.

A total of 59 people, including military personnel and scientists, were at the base when the fire broke out.

Base personnel were assisted by crews from nearby research stations operated by Chile, Argentina and Poland, among others.

–IANS/EFE
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