Cleanup begins after oil pipe explosion in China
Efforts were under way to contain and clean up a large oil slick after pipeline explosions at a northeastern Chinese port sent greasy black plumes into the ocean, state media reported today.world Updated: Jul 18, 2010 14:57 IST
Efforts were under way to contain and clean up a large oil slick after pipeline explosions at a northeastern Chinese port sent greasy black plumes into the ocean, state media reported on Sunday.
Maritime workers on 20 boats were sent to install fencing to stop the oil from spreading further in northeastern Dalian's Xingang Harbor, the official Xinhua News Agency said.
The slick had contaminated an area estimated to be about 19 square miles (50 square kilometers) off the coast of Liaoning province. An explosion Friday evening hit an oil pipeline in the harbor that triggered a second blast from a smaller adjacent pipeline.
The blaze burned for 15 hours before being extinguished on Saturday. No casualties were reported.
China National Petroleum Corp., the country's largest oil company and which owns both pipelines, said in a statement on its website that the oil had stopped leaking after a valve was closed. It said the oil spill has been "fenced off and contained." A formal investigation has also begun to determine the cause of the initial blasts, Xinhua said.
On Sunday, an official from the Dalian environmental protection bureau said the oil contamination was being cleared up and had had no direct impact on the city itself.
However, he said it was unclear how much oil had leaked from the pipelines.
Both President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao urged all-out efforts to battle the blaze and stop the oil spill.