Heiltsuk First Nation calls tugboat sinking near Bella Bella ‘environmental disaster’ as cleanup efforts continue

The Heiltsuk First Nation caught in the middle of a diesel spill near Bella Bella is sounding the alarm and calling the situation an “environment disaster.”

The tugboat Nathan E. Stewart with more than 59,000 gallons of diesel fuel onboard sank at the entrance to Seaforth Channel, west of Bella Bella after running aground Thursday morning, causing booms and oil skimmers to be deployed. The barge that the tug was carrying was empty of cargo and has since been moved to a safe anchorage.

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