40,000-Ton Ship Splits in 2 off Japanese Coast, Spilling Oil as Far as 3 Miles

The ship, named the Crimson Polaris, was headed from Thailand to Japan with a load of wood chips.

A ship off the coast of Japan split in two, spilling oil into the ocean. The two halves of the Crimson Polaris could be seen foundering in the water near Japan’s Aomori Prefecture.

Flying under the Panamanian flag, with a Chinese and Filipino crew, the Crimson Polaris was headed from Thailand with a load of wood chips.

It was bound for Japan’s Hachinohe port. The nearly 40,000-ton vessel initially ran aground near the port. Though it was able to free itself, Reuters reports that it was anchored several miles from the port when the accident happened.

There were no reported injuries among the 21-person crew, who were rescued by helicopter. But it left an oil slick in the water, over three miles long and half a mile wide.

Japanese authorities are reportedly working to contain the oil spill before it comes ashore.

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