Chinese dredger runs aground off Zambales; PCG says no oil leak

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 18) — Authorities are monitoring a Chinese dredger that ran aground off the coast of Botolan town, Zambales early this week.

The Department of Transportation said in a statement on Thursday that the Philippine Coast Guard has conducted survey and inspection operations on Chinese-registered vessel MV Zhong Hai 69 Alfa.

The vessel's engine room and compartments "have been flooded with seawater," but there are no signs of oil leak from the grounded dredger, the PCG said.

The ship operator, identified as Z2K Resources Inc., pledged to procure additional bilge pumps for the dewatering.

"The PCG remains on top of the situation. We do not want to add another burden to the current crisis we are facing," said PCG Commandant, Vice Admiral George Ursabia, Jr.

"Most of all, we do not want the local residents in the area to bear the negative consequences of this situation, especially with the possible harm it can cause to local marine environment," he added.