Mauritius races to contain oil spill, protect coastline

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Thousands of students, environmental activists and residents of Mauritius are working around the clock to reduce the damage done to the Indian Ocean island from an oil spill after a ship ran aground on a coral reef. Shipping officials said an estimated 1 ton of oil from the Japanese ship’s cargo of 4 tons has escaped into the sea. Workers were trying to stop more oil from leaking, but with high winds and rough seas on Sunday there were reports of new cracks in the ship’s hull. Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth has declared a state of emergency and appealed for international help. One expert called the spill a “full-blown ecological disaster.”