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Sunken phosphate barge removed from Nile: Egyptian minister

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Sunken phosphate barge removed from Nile: Egyptian minister

The Egyptian Minister of Environment said Wednesday that the barge carrying phosphate, which capsized eight days ago in the Nile river in Upper Egypt, has been fully floated.

Last Tuesday, the ship, which was transporting 500 tonnes of phosphate, capsized in Upper Egypt’s Qena, sparking fears among many that the Nile water, which is the primary source of drinking water for 90 million Egyptians, could suffer poisoning.

Egyptian officials repeatedly assured the public that since phosphate stones were insoluble the Nile water remained safe for consumption.

In the wake of the incident, Egypt's water company declared a state of emergency, testing water samples as a precautionary measure. Officials announced that various tested samples proved negative.

Egypt is heavily dependent on the Nile River which provides the country with 55 billion cubic metres of water annually.

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