No decision over oil spill prosecution

INVESTIGATORS at Ipswich port are still undecided whether anyone should be taken to court after an oil spill which caused serious environmental damage.

INVESTIGATORS at Ipswich port are still undecided whether anyone should be taken to court after an oil spill which caused serious environmental damage.

More than two tons of diesel spilled into the water at Cliff Quay on September 24 which prompted a major pollution alert.

Dozens of swans were affected by the spill and had to be treated at the RSPCA's wildlife hospital at East Winch near Kings Lynn.

One died after swallowing too much oil, but staff managed to clean and treat another 23 birds, which were allowed back on to the River Orwell.


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At the time of the leak, port manager Robert Smith was confident he knew where the oil had come from.

As it came from a vessel moored at the quayside, it was up to port owner ABP to investigate the leak and decide whether to prosecute.

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However almost six weeks after the leak, there has still been no decision on whether to prosecute anyone.

A spokesman for ABP said today: "The investigation is still going on, we have to be very thorough before we decide whether to take any legal action."

He said solicitors had been involved in the case - and the company hoped a decision on whether or not to go ahead with a prosecution would be made by the end of November.

The vessel suspected of causing the leak was only allowed to leave the port after its owners paid a bond guaranteeing its master or representative would appear in court if necessary.

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