[ Oil Spill in China’s Yellow Sea – NTDTV ]
An explosion that occurred while a 300,000 ton foreign oil tanker was being unloaded shook the Dalian Bay in northeast China. Fire blazed in the pipelines for nearly 15 hours before being brought under control. There have been no injuries or loss of life, according to official reports.
The tanker docked at the Dalian’s Xingang Harbor, at 6:11 p.m. on July 16. An explosion that occurred in the land pipeline while additives were being added, was followed by a fast-spreading fire.
“I heard a big bang and felt as if someone just pushed me. I thought it was an earthquake,” Chen Zhigang, inspection officer in Xingang substation of Dalian frontier inspection station, told the state run media.
“Ten minutes after the explosion, a pillar of fire rose several meters high at the site, lightening up almost the entire pier. Deeper into the night, smoke almost covered half of the sky until the next morning when it started to thin out.” Chen said.
The fire from the initial explosion had been put out the same night, but the explosion triggered a fire in a nearby pipeline, whose damaged cut-off valve kept feeding the fire. Around 300 fire engines and more than a thousand fire fighters were rushed onsite.
The accident reportedly resulted in 1500 tons of crude oil spilling into the ocean. The over-5-million-tons of foam and 20-tons of dry powder fire extinguishers used could also pollute the ocean, a China National Radio report said.
China News Service quoted a report from Chinese maritime rescue coordinating center that, a visible fire was seen in the water of the Xingang Harbor area at 2:37 a.m. on July 17, with a burning area of 80-100 square meters (860-1080 square feet), and that oil spills could be seen on nearby sea water.
On July 17 evening, nearly 20 vessels started performing oil contamination removal process, reports said.
On the afternoon of July 18, Dalian Environmental Protection Bureau reported that close to 100 square kilometers (40 square miles) of seawater had been polluted.
Dalian’s Xingang Harbor is located along the shore of the Yellow Sea in northeastern China.
Read the original Chinese article.