In October 2015, the Haidar (IMO 9083067) ship was docked at Vila do Conde, Barcarena, on the Para River, where it was loaded with 5,000 live cattle. The animals were to be shipped to Venezuela.
Once loaded, the ship began to list, which was exacerbated by movement of the cattle on board. Within hours, on the morning of 6 October 2015, the ship had sunk. The sinking released an estimated 700,000 litres of diesel and other polluting residues, including animal feed.
Around 500 cattle escaped the hold, but only 100 survived. Hundreds of carcases washed up on nearby beaches, while the remaining cattle were trapped within the sunken ship.
Containment barriers could not withstand the pressure exerted by hundreds of decomposing animal carcasses and they ruptured, releasing additional oil pollution as well as the hundreds of floating animal carcasses.
The State Environment Agency (SEMAS) and the Brazilian Institute of the Environment (IBAMA) sent notifications to Minerva SA, including demands that the company present an emergency plan for the removal of the carcasses and take immediate action to remove the pollutants the ship was leaking.
It was not until 18 October 2015 that contractors started to extract some of the remaining oil from the ship and to remove carcasses from the beaches.
Many of the carcasses were burned in the open, while others were buried in unsuitable locations. No adequate steps were taken to address the pollution arising from the approximately 4,500 carcasses that remained within the ship.
The presence of the Haidar, its on-board pollutants, and the decomposing carcasses has resulted in continuing water pollution and environmental damage. This was most starkly demonstrated by a further significant oil leak from the ship that occurred in December 2018. Despite the risks posed by, the ship remains in the same location to this day.
The claimants, represented by PGMBM, are now seeking damages from Salic UK via the High Court of England and Wales, including material damages arising from the destruction and devaluation of fish stocks and the pollution of water and beaches, personal injury, damage to property, and economic loss.