CAIRO: An estimated 90 percent of the phosphate dumped in the Nile when its carrier sank has been removed by the Armed Forces, which resurfaced the Nile carrier, said Qena governor Abd al-Hamid Al Hagan Saturday.
Last week, the 500-ton ship with its load of phosphate sank in Qena after crashing into a pillar on the Dandra Bridge.
The ship was coming from Aswan to Cairo, and all cargo was lost into the river after the crash; no casualties were reported.
The incident caused concern among many locals, who feared the water would be severely polluted; the Nile is the primary source or potable water for Egyptians.
A 2004 report for the Food and Agriculture Organization in the United Nations (FAO), suggested that phosphate’s possible negative impacts are more relevant to impurities and heavy metals which it may contain, rather than if it by itself is dissolved into a drinking source.
Irrigation Minister Hossam Moghazy announced Saturday that 384 drinking water samples were recovered from Qena and deemed safe for human consumption, while Environment Minister Khaled Fahmy was seen drinking from the river Nile’s water in Qena to assure people that the water was safe.