Authorities in China are battling to contain an oil slick covering nearly 50 square kilometers, after two crude oil pipelines exploded in the northeastern port, Dalian. There were no reported casualties but there are mounting fears of an ecological disaster in China's Yellow Sea.
Friday's explosion at a storage depot in the port of Dalian hit the oil pipeline as a tanker ship was unloading. The first explosion triggered a second blast from a smaller adjacent pipeline, sending more black oil into the ocean and sparking a huge fire. The blaze burned for 15 hours before hundreds of firefighters extinguished it on Saturday.
On Mondaty, some 1,000 vessels were at work skimming the slick off the coast of Liaoning province. Chemical dispersants are being used and 7,000 meters of boom have been deployed to try and contain the spill.
The deputy director of the Dalian Environmental Protection Department, Wu Guo Gong, is heading up the investigation into the explosion. Wu said there will be some environmental impact but he does not expect it to affect local residents.
The incident occurred at an oil storage site jointly owned by the state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation and the port. Top Chinese officials have ordered an investigation into the incident.