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Federal Oil Spill Charges Possible

Posted Nov 13, 2007 9:42 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Federal prosecutors are investigating an oil spill last week in the San Francisco Bay, a move that could signal charges against crew members of the damaged ship that spilled 58,000 gallons of fuel.

The owner of the ship, which hit the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, is Regal Stone of Hong Kong. Its representative, Darrell Wilson, told the New York Times that federal charges are “kind of a given … because of the strict liability laws.”

A lawyer for one of the crew members told the Times that fog had a role in the accident. He said it took more than an hour for government agencies to respond, a charge that the Coast Guard denies.

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