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Cargo Ship Spills Oil Into Harbor At Port Of Los Angeles

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A large vessel used for transporting cars leaked fuel into the Los Angeles harbor last night and now teams are attempting to assess the extent of the spill.

Around 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, the Coast Guard received reports that a 577-foot cargo ship, named Istra Ace, was leaking heavy fuel into the Cerritos channel at Berth 198, reports CBS LA. The ship was fueling up, or 'bunkering' oil, from the shore when a leak started from an open valve, according to a release about the spill. Once the crew noticed the leak, they stopped the bunkering, but a sufficient amount of oil had already polluted the water. A sheen of oil could be seen on the water near the ship:

Following the leak, 15,600 feet of boom has placed around the vessel and at important points in the channel, in an effort to contain the oil as much as possible. A safety zone has been established around the area to prevent recreational and commercial ships from interfering with the clean-up efforts or spread the contamination further.

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The Coast Guard is expected to fly over the area today and clean-up assessments will be conducted along the shoreline to try to determine the extent of the spill's impact. The company responsible for the ship has also hired the National Response Corporation Environmental Services and other sub-contractors to help in efforts to contain and clean up the oil.

There haven't yet been reports of oiled wildlife in the area, though we suspect that may change soon. Anyone who might encounter any is urged not to try and capture the animal, but instead contact the Oiled Wildlife Care Network at (877) 823-6926.

The Istra Ace is registered in the Bahamas and arrived in the Port of L.A. on Saturday, according to the L.A. Times. The ship will be detained in the harbor until further investigation can reveal the root cause of the spill.