The Greek government is urging owners of the wrecked Sea Diamond cruise liner which sank off Santorini earlier this month to pump out trapped fuel oil as sooner rather than later to avert a major environmental disaster.

Environmental experts have been battling to contain small spills since the ship went down on April 6 (see related story) but the Greek parliament has heard that until the estimated 400 tonnes of fuel oil still on board the wreck are pumped out there will be a risk of a huge oil slick spreading along the coastline.

The Minister responsible for merchant shipping told MPs that it would be up to the company which would receive an insurance payout from the disaster to foot the bill for the clean up.

Sam Bond

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