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Cleanup of Oil Spill in Qingdao Blast May Take a Month: Paper

11-25 00:00 财经网 财经网
Workers lay out oil booms to prevent oil spills on Nov.22

It may take one month to clean up oil leaks into the waters off Qingdao in East China after a deadly oil pipeline blast claimed lives of more than 50, the Beijing News reported.

The explosion struck early last Friday when a repair team was rescuing an oil pipeline rupture in Qingdao Economic and Development Zone, known as the Huangdao District, along the southwest coast of the city.

The 176km pipeline, which links oil depots in Huangdao to Weifang City home to a few petrochemical plants, is owned by China's largest oil refiner Sinopec.

At least 55 were killed and 136 are receiving treatment at local hospitals while 9 are still missing.

Oil belts with length of two to three meters could be seen in waters around the spot following the explosion, sparking worries over an oil spill.

North wind in the winter is keeping the spilt oil at south of the Jiaozhou Bay, which is good for the clean-up, chairman of a local environmental protection firm which joined the clean-up work told the paper. Jiaozhou Bay separates Huangdao from the downtown of Qingdao.

He noted that, however, it still needs time for oil left in the broken pipeline to fully come out and a complete cleanup may take one month.

Witnesses said they saw welder working at the scene before the explosion occurred which was speculated as the reason behind the tragedy. 

The blast also destroyed the district's heating system and electricity supplies which have been mostly recovered now. Authorities said the drinking water was not polluted.

The local government has been offering free food to those affected by the accident.

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