CAIRO - Houthi rebels are blocking the United Nations from inspecting an abandoned oil tanker moored off the coast of Yemen loaded with more than 1 million barrels of crude oil.
U.N. officials and experts fear the tanker could explode or leak, causing massive environmental damage to Red Sea marine life.
Internal documents obtained by The Associated Press showed that seawater has entered the engine compartment of the tanker, which has been left without maintenance for more than five years, causing damage to the pipelines and increasing the risk of sinking.
Rust has covered parts of the tanker and the inert gas that prevents the tanks from gathering inflammable gases has leaked out. Experts say maintenance is no longer possible because the damage to the ship is irreversible.