Has Greek ship spilled off Estonia?

TALLINN, Estonia (AP) – Estonia was investigating whether a Greek-owned tanker was responsible for a large Baltic Sea oil spill, the government said yesterday. The M/T Flawless, en route to Singapore, had reported to the Estonian Border Guard on January 25 that fuel oil had spread over the vessel’s deck as a result of overpumping, Prime Minister Andrus Ansip said. A large oil spill was located this weekend in coastal areas some 100 kilometers southwest of Tallinn. It may have originated from the Flawless, Ansip said. The spill has caused substantial damage to the region’s bird population. Some 5,000 birds are estimated to have been contaminated, and hundreds already have died. The Liberian-flagged Flawless is owned by Top Tanker Management based in Athens, Greece. The company said the boat is operated by the Cyprus-based Hanseatic company, which said it did not know anything about the incident. The Baltic Sea is a major transit route for oil tankers en route from Russia to Western Europe.

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