CAIRO: The Armed Forces have completed the removal of a shipment of phosphate that was submerged when its carrier sank into the Nile in Qena, the Irrigation Ministry stated Sunday.
Two weeks ago, a 500-ton ship sank after crashing into a pillar on the Dandra Bridge.
The ship was bound for Cairo from Aswan, 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 of potable water for Egyptians.
Irrigation Minister Hossam Moghazy said Saturday that the government had learned from the lesson of the incident of the droned phosphate in the river Nile, as he ruled out those concerns.
“Crude phosphate is not a dangerous material and it can be naturally carried out through the Nile,” Moghazy said in a TV interview on Saturday. “We have a list of dangerous materials such as oil and sulfur which cannot naturally dissipate through the Nile,” he added.
A 2004 report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO,) however, suggested that phosphate’s possible negative impacts are more relevant to impurities and heavy metals which it may contain, rather than its actual effect if dissolved into a drinking source.