WELLINGTON, New Zealand | Grounded ship leaks 80 tons of oil near Pacific UNESCO site

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Australian officials say an environmental disaster is unfolding in the Pacific after a large ship ran aground and began leaking oil next to a UNESCO World Heritage site in the Solomon Islands.

The Australian High Commission in the Solomon Islands said Friday that footage taken this week shows little progress has been made in stopping the Solomon Trader ship from leaking oil since it ran aground Feb. 5.

Australian experts estimate more than 80 tons of oil has leaked into the sea and shoreline in the ecologically delicate area and that more than 660 tons of oil remains aboard the Hong Kong-flagged ship, which is continuing to leak.

The ship was chartered by the Bintan Mining company in the Solomon Islands to carry bauxite, which is used in aluminum production.

By Associated Press