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 Kairo

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SpillsKairo

On 21 January 1998, a tank container adrift at sea off the coast of Royan, was signalled by Spanish fishermen. Markings on the tanks indicated that it contained a chemical classified as toxic and flammable called Novoktan.

At first, no information was found to identify the product from only its brand name. Subsequent contact via email with our Canadian colleagues at Canutec, informed us that Novoktan was made by a German firm, Novoktan Gmbh.

Contact with the German correspondent for the European chemical industry environmental safety network allowed us to immediately obtain the safety data sheet about the product, lead tetraethyl, which is a toxic compound. Three tanks containing this substance had been declared as lost at sea on 31 December 1997 by the Kairo, a ship heading for the Channel, off the Spanish coast.

Contacts between the Novoktan company and the French authorities ensured safe intervention for recovery operations at sea and onshore storage. A second container was located on 10 March, drifting in the Bay of Biscay. The third one was located at sea on 28 April next to the Landes coast. All 3 containers were successfully recovered by the French navy and taken care of by Novoktan.

Name: Kairo

Date: 31 December 1997

Location: France


Accident area: off the coast of Royan, Atlantic coast

Cause of spill: damage to ship

Quantity transported: 6,240 tonnes

Type of pollutant: lead tetraethyl

Quantity spilled: 6,240 tonnes

Ship type: container ship

Flag: German


Last update: April 2006

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