News / Asia

Oil Spill Spreads Along Thai Island, Threatens Mainland

Thai soldiers and energy company workers in white biohazard suits take part in a clean-up operation at Ao Prao Beach on Koh Samet, Rayong, Thailand, July 30, 2013.
Thai soldiers and energy company workers in white biohazard suits take part in a clean-up operation at Ao Prao Beach on Koh Samet, Rayong, Thailand, July 30, 2013.
VOA News
Workers in white protective suits are using shovels and buckets to battle an oil spill that is spreading along the coast of a Thai resort island and could reach the mainland.

Hundreds of Thai soldiers and energy company workers worked to clean up the crude oil as it washed ashore Tuesday on several beaches of Samet Island.

Authorities said they were trying to contain the slick around the island to prevent strong wind and waves from pushing it toward the coastline of Thailand's Rayong province, several kilometers away.

Thailand mapThailand map
Thailand map
Thailand map
The oil spill prompted many tourists on Samet to leave, raising concern about the impact on its resort industry. The island, also known as Ko Samet, is popular with foreigners and locals for its white sands.

About 50,000 liters of oil leaked into the Gulf of Thailand on Saturday from a pipeline operated by a unit of Thai state-owned energy company PTT. The leak resulted in the fourth major oil spill in Thailand's history.

PTT said Tuesday it expects to finish removing the spilled oil in three days. But environmentalists said the clean up has a long way to go and accused the company of not being prepared to deal with such an incident.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

  • Workers remove crude oil during a clean up operation on the beach of Prao Bay on Samet Island in Rayong province, eastern Thailand. About 50,000 liters (13,200 gallons) of crude oil that leaked from a pipeline operated by PTT Global Chemical Plc, has reached the popular tourist island in the country's eastern sea despite continuous attempts to clean it up.
  • (L-R) Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Israel's Justice Minister Tzipi Livni shake hands at a news conference at the end of talks at the State Department in Washington. Israeli and Palestinian negotiators held their first peace talks in nearly three years in a U.S.-brokered effort that Kerry hopes will end their conflict despite deep divisions.
  • Sailboats compete in the 32th edition of the Copa del Rey regatta in Palma de Mallorca, Spain.
  • A woman carrying her baby and wrapped with a shawl walks through a sandstorm in Timbuktu, Mali, July 29, 2013.
  • The Saturn moons Mimas and Pandora appear together in this image taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft. Pandora's small size means that it lacks sufficient gravity to pull itself into a round shape like its larger sibling, Mimas. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute)
  • North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un laughs during a photo session in Pyongyang with war veteran delegates who took part in the celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the signing of the truce of the Korean War. (Photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency)
  • Aisikaier Wubulikasimu, 40-year-old Uighur acrobat, walks on a 18m long (59 ft), 50 mm wide (2 inch) tightrope strung between two hot air balloons, in Shilin county, Yunnan province, China. Wubulikasimu has previous broken two Guinness World Records for the fastest tightrope walk over 100m in 2009 and the steepest tightrope walk in 2011.
  • Bangladeshi children cool off at Mohammadpur Geneva camp, one of the largest refugee camps in Dhaka City.
  • A tortoise makes its way through mud in Kfar Kila village near the Lebanese-Israeli border, in south Lebanon July 29, 2013.
  • A surfer rides a wave on the river Eisbach in the English Garden in downtown Munich, southern Germany.


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