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China

1,000 fishing boats sent to clean up China oil spill

Authorities want to contain oil before it reaches international waters.

A MAJOR OIL spill in Dalian City, northeast China, now covers over 170 square miles. Authorities have sent 40 oil skimming vessels and 23 tonnes of oil-eating bacteria to the area.

Two pipelines exploded at an oil storage depot in Dalian harbour last Friday, and a huge fire burned there throughout the weekend.

The local government said 1,000 local fishing boats were ordered to assist the clean-up operation. AFP reports that many of those mobilised to help are working without protective gear and some people were seen using their bare hands to clean up the oil.

One fireman drowned on Tuesday after being struck by a strong wave as he attempted to clean a boat pump.

Greenpace says the spill holds “serious consequences for the coastal ecosystem” of the area, and said that there is no such things as a complete clean-up.

In January, a broken pipeline in the northwest of the country released 150,000 litres of diesel oil into the Yellow River, a major water source for millions of people.

Dalian is one of China’s main oil-producing and distributing centres. China recently overtook the US as the world’s number one energy user. Provisional data from the International Energy Agency shows that China’s energy demand doubled over the last ten years.

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