Ship stuck on New Zealand reef leaking oil

The Liberian-flagged container ship MV Rena is stuck hard aground on a reef 12 nautical miles off the coast of Tauranga, New Zealand, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2011, after striking the reef early in the morning. The 236 meter (774 feet) long ship has 1,700 tonnes of fuel oil and 2,100 shipping containers on board as it sits on the reef at a 10-degree list.

The Liberian-flagged container ship MV Rena is stuck hard aground on a reef 12 nautical miles off the coast of Tauranga, New Zealand, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2011, after striking the reef early in the morning. The 236 meter (774 feet) long ship has 1,700 tonnes of fuel oil and 2,100 shipping containers on board as it sits on the reef at a 10-degree list. (AP Photo/New Zealand Herald, Alan Gibson)

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP)

Authorities say a large container ship stuck on a reef off the coast of New Zealand is leaking oil.

Maritime New Zealand says the leak appears to be intermittent and coming from damaged pipes rather than from fuel tanks, but it remains hard to assess given the extensive damage to the vessel.

The 775-foot (236-meter) Liberia-flagged Rena struck the Astrolabe Reef about 12 nautical miles from Tauranga Harbor early Wednesday and has been floundering there since.

The agency says the 25 crew on board are safe and trying to stop more oil from leaking.

The agency said Thursday that four seabirds have died in the oil slick, which extends about three miles (five kilometers) from the ship. The agency plans to apply the dispersant Corexit 9500 on Friday.



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