The ship it's self
The 285,000 ton Iranian oil supertanker Kharg-5 was built in the mid-1970s.
The ship's cargo tanks exploded off the coast of Safi, 400 miles north of the Canary Islands. The tanker was carrying a load destined for the power station in the town of Tan-Tan, on the coast, near to the Western Sahara, around 300 kilometres (190 miles) south of the Moroccan resort town of Agadir.
The blast happened when it ran into a storm near the Carney Islands on December 19, 1989. 4 of 12 damaged tanks leaked most of the 70,000 tonnes of crude oil that was lost.
There was a 2 week threat of massive oil damage to to oyster beds, rich fishing grounds, nature reserves and miles of tourist beaches Morocco as 70,000 tons of crude leaked from the tanker.
Morocco and Spain the both refused permission for the crippled ship to given safe-haven in there waters whilst still leaking oil. Rescue crews Britain, France, Spain and Portugal did respond to Morocco's appeal for help. A Dutch salvage team and French technical experts both joined shortly afterwards.
When the on board fire was extinguished by salvage crews and the tug Smit Tak towed the vessel away from the Moroccan coast as more oil continued to freely flow into the sea. The rest of the oil was rescued and sent to the power station at Tan-Tan.
The oil slick
At one point it was covering 100 Square Miles and 280 kilometres at another time.
The isolated damage was regarded to be minimal.