Friday, March 13, 2009

Oil-soaked Australian beaches named disaster zones


BRISBANE, Australia – Authorities declared a disaster zone Friday along a stretch of some of Australia's most pristine and popular beaches after tons of fuel oil that leaked from a stricken cargo ship blackened the creamy white sand for miles.

The government of northeastern Queensland state denied it had acted too slowly to stop an environmental disaster, and threatened the shipping company with a multimillion-dollar compensation lawsuit.

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