Phosphate sinking site cleared – minister

The site of the sinking of a phosphate shipment in the Nile has been “fully cleared” using military equipment, the environment minister said on Saturday.

On Tuesday, fertilisers containing phosphate sank when the ship carrying them collided with a bridge in the Upper Egypt city of Qena.

Environment Minister Khaled Fahmy was cited by state news agency MENA as saying that 90 percent of the phosphate was sucked out of the water and carried away on Friday night.

The ministry of irrigation and water resources had announced a state of emergency after the incident.

However, the head of the state’s holding company for water said last week that after taking samples, “we confirmed” that the phosphate was a solid substance, not a powder and so, it did not dissolve in the water.

Health Minister Adel el-Adawi said late on Friday that 78 samples of water were taken from water purification plants and were tested for phosphate traces in two labs belonging to the ministry.

“The samples have so far not shown any negative results and there is no effect on drinking water”, the minister told MENA.

Source:Aswat Masriya