1999 The Erika breaks up in the Bay of Biscay

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The Erika breaks up in the Bay of Biscay

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On 12 December 1999, the Maltese oil tanker Erika, loaded with 31,000 tonnes of heavy fuel oil No. 2, broke in two in a storm off Penmarch (Finistère) before sinking and spilling 20,000 tonnes of fuel oil over 400 kilometres of coastline, killing tens of thousands of birds and devastating marine life. More than 74,000 birds were collected and transferred to rescue centres.

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1999

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