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Prestige tanker spill trial opens in Corunna


Spain

Prestige tanker spill trial opens in Corunna

Ten years after the oil tanker Prestige sank off the Spanish coast, hundreds of activists protested outside a special court as senior officers from the vessel went on trial.

The group, named ‘Never Again’ in Spanish, claim lessons from the country’s worst ever oil spill have not been learned.

In the dock in Corunna, Apostolos Mangouras, the Greek captain of the Prestige at the time; the vessel’s chief engineer and the then head of the Spanish merchant navy, who had allegedly ordered the vessel to sea while it was already leaking oil.

The ship’s first mate is also charged with harming the environment but has not been arrested.

The Prestige took on water during a storm in November 2002. It drifted for six days before breaking up and sinking.

Fifty thousand tonnes of oil poured into the Atlantic eventually washing up on countless thousands of kilometres of Spanish and French coastline.

An estimated 300,000 volunteers came from all over Europe to help with the clean up.

Prosecutors want the captain to be jailed for 12 years.

Environmentalists claim that key people responsible for the disaster are not being tried.

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