HC Deb 29 February 1980 vol 979 cc796-7W
Mr. Adley

asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will give the results of his Department's investigations into the origin of the many containers of chemicals which have been washed up in recent weeks on the South Coast.

Mr. Tebbit

My Department made a careful examination of both the hazardous cargo list and the general cargo manifest of the "Aeolian Sky" in view of the alleged link between this vessel and the items initially washed up. The Isle of Wight county council and certain other local authorities are in possession of both these documents. The hazardous cargo list, which runs to some 220 entries, covers a wide range of substances. The nature of the hazard includes flammability, toxicity and corrosiveness in varying degrees.

My Department has endeavoured to obtain from the many manufacturers of the items of chemicals carried in this ship information on the packing and markings of their products to facilitate identification if they are washed up. This information will be made available to any local authority requiring it.

The following list includes some of the items which have already come ashore and have been positively identified as originating from the "Aeolian Sky":

  • 310 containers Insecticide
  • 210 containers Disinfectant
  • 30 containers Crop-Spray
  • 21 containers Linseed Oil
  • 1 drum Pesticide

My Department found no evidence that containers of arsenic trichloride were carried on the "Aeolian Sky" on her last voyage. Inquiry of the continental manufacturers of those canisters of this product which had been washed up established that they had been shipped in Hamburg about 15 January on board the general cargo vessel "Tozeur" bound for North Africa. Inquiries were made of the United Kingdom representatives of the Tunisian owner of the "Tozeur" as to the total cargo lost overboard on that voyage, and they have been put in direct touch with the Isle of Wight county council.

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