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Oil spill threatens Bangladesh site

Authorities in Bangladesh are urgently assessing environmental damage in one of the world's largest mangrove forests after an oil tanker sank, threatening wildlife in the Unesco World Heritage site.

The oil tanker sank on a major river flowing through the Sundarbans after being hit by a cargo vessel.

Officials said the slick has spread over 45 miles of the Shela river, a major sanctuary for wildlife in the Sundarbans, which lies on the delta of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers on the Bay of Bengal.

At least 20 canals and another major river have also been affected.

Officials said the oil spill is threatening various species including rare Irrawaddy dolphins.

The owners of the oil tanker said it had been salvaged, and two of its six containers were badly damaged.

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