Byzantion – Early last night a privately owned oil tanker sailing under the Nigerian flag and headed for the Republic of Georgia has had a major accident in the Sea of Marmara just off the coast of Byzantion. As a result of the accident millions of litres of oil are currently leaking into the sea. The Ministry of Defence has issued an emergency order closing the Bosporus and Sea of Marmara to all civilian and international transit while a Task Force composed of the Ministries of Defence, Economic Affairs and the Environment work to stop the leaking and clean up the oil already in the sea.
“This is the largest ecological disaster in the history of the region. The Sea of Marmara is home to endangered species and the surrounding land is dependent on fishing and other seabound industries. Combined with the economic losses of closing the strait this will cost the Athenian Federation and Union of Greece hundreds of millions, if not billions.” A spokesperson for the Task Force said. The Hellenic Space Force has announced that it has redirected satellites to have around the clock information and images on how the oil spill is developing. The Hellenic Navy is meanwhile enforcing the complete blockade of the Sea of Marmara.
Ships that previously were granted a permit pass have been redirected to ports in Athens, the Union of Greece and the Union of Asia Minor. From there their cargo will be unloaded and transported by train to Black Sea ports where other ships will take the cargo to their final destination. This is to guarantee the continued flow of goods to countries dependent on Black Sea trade. The Athenian Federation is offering this service free of charge for those who already had a permit pass, however for future transports the costs will be calculated into the permit fee.
It is unclear what exactly happened on the ship, however fishing boats nearby have reported hearing an explosion moments before the spill and camera footage shows fires on the ship. The tanker was state of the art and recently inspected as such lack of maintenance seems unlikely and sabotage or even terrorism is a more likely culprit. The Ministry of Justice has announced it will be launching a full investigation and reaching out to both the Nigerian and Georgian governments to seek information that could help them find the cause of the accident.