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The Associated Press April 12, 2012, 10:39AM ET

Ship loses fuel in Italian port, spill contained

Italy's coast guard says a ship has spilled as much as 15 tons of its fuel in the southern port of Taranto, but that the oil has been contained by floating barriers.

Coast guard official Francesco Russo said Thursday that half of the fuel has been removed. Russo, speaking by phone from Taranto, added that because the fuel was dense, it hadn't spread beyond barriers set up to contain it soon after oil was spotted during the night.

He denied Italian news reports of a gash in the hull of the Panamanian-flagged vessel. Russo said inspection by coast guard divers found the hull intact. He added that the spill was under investigation, but might have been caused by a mistaken maneuver.

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