Even more asbestos on board the Otapan

The ship Otapan contains almost 77 tonnes of asbestos and not one tonne as stated on the original export document, environment minister Pieter van Geel told MPs yesterday. The Otapan was due to be broken up in Turkey last year but the Turkish authorities refused to accept it when it emerged the ship contained far more asbestos than registered on the export licence.

Earlier estimates that the ship was carrying 54 tonnes of asbestos have been upgraded again following new research. Van Geel told MPs he would know more about the cost of dismantling the ship later this month. Three shipyards have put in tenders for the job.

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