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Fuel removed from grounded minesweeper

MANILA, Jan. 26 (UPI) — The U.S. Navy has removed 15,000 gallons of diesel fuel from the USS Guardian, a minesweeper that ran aground off the Philippines, officials say.

Rear Admiral Thomas Carney, who is in charge of the salvage operation, said the fuel was taken out first to remove any risk of a spill, ABS-CBN News reported. Tubbataha Reef in the Sulu Sea, where the Guardian went aground, is a national marine park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The fuel was transferred to a Malaysian tugboat, the Vos Apollo.

The Navy hopes to lift the minesweeper off the reef. Two crane ships are scheduled to arrive Friday.

Copyright 2013 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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