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Panama-flagged bulk carrier Ever Judger is likely to have caused the breakup of the undersea pipe which resulted in the massive oil spill in East Kalimantan, Indonesia, on March 31.

Before the incident, the 82,000 dwt bulk carrier was the only vessel in the waters of Balikpapan Bay, Balikpapan Pos reported referring to the vessels’ AIS data.

Specifically, Ever Judger’s anchor caused the rupture of the undersea pipe, Harjo Susmoro from the country navy’s oceanography and hydrography center was cited as saying. When entering this Indonesian area with undersea pipes, ships are not allowed to drop anchors.

The leakage spread at least 26 kilometers and coated large areas of the coast in thick black sludge, according to Greenpeace.

The spill and related fire in the bay that sent a thick cloud of smoke into the air claimed the lives of five people and saw the country declare a state of emergency.

World Maritime News Staff