The capsizing of a ship carrying 500 tons of phosphate in Qena has resulted in a state of extreme emergency being declared by Egypt’s Minister of Irrigation Hossam Moghazi.
According to Al-Ahram, the ship collided with a bridge’s foundation in the Upper Egyptian city, leading to it capsizing.
The Ministry of Irrigation declared the state of emergency as a precautionary measure as phosphate is not soluble in water.
However, the Ministry has affirmed that the Nile’s water will still be fit for human use and that samples extracted from the river at the site of the collision show “normal quality” of water.
Nevertheless, Egypt’s Ministry of Environment has set up a committee to investigate the phosphate spill.
According to a statement by the Egyptian cabinet, an operations room was also set up at the Environment Ministry to coordinate between the different ministries and to ensure investigations are accurate and succinct.