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A ship that ran aground off the coast of Mauritius has leaked more than 1,000 tonnes of crude oil into the Indian Ocean. The island nation has declared a “state of environmental emergency” after the MV Wakashio vessel began to spill out oil at the end of last week. It is estimated the tanker has leaked about 1,300 tonnes of oil into the ocean so far, but it was reportedly carrying up to 4,300 tonnes.
Greenpeace Africa has warned that "thousands" of animal species were "at risk of drowning in a sea of pollution, with dire consequences for Mauritius's economy, food security and health".
An oceanographer and environmental engineer in Mauritius, Vassen Kauppaymuthoo, told the BBC that local residents were now "breathing heavy vapours of oil", and there was a "mixture of sadness and anger" over the spill.
Police in Mauritius say they have been granted a search warrant, allowing them to board the vessel to take away items of interest such as the ship's log book in order to help with an investigation. The ship's captain will assist officers with their search.