Report shows misinformation on San Francisco Bay fuel spill

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- A new report is shedding light on the source of misinformation about the size of last year's San Francisco Bay oil spill.

A state expert claims the chief engineer on a container ship either misjudged, miscommunicated or intentionally misled Coast Guard investigators about the amount of fuel that leaked.

The initial estimate put the leak at a few hundred gallons, but the actual amount spilled was more than 53,000 gallons.

The ship's hull was torn open when it sideswiped the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge last November. It was California's worst oil spill in more than two decades. Thousands of birds were killed and more than a dozen beaches closed.

Other factors cited in the state report include a language barrier between the ship's Chinese crew and investigators and the inexperience of the first Coast Guard responders on the scene.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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