china seeks to limit damage from oil spill - oil spill absorbent materials
When the first oil pipeline broke, the ground shook, causing residents and port workers near Dalian's new port to think the earthquake was happening.
Instead, locals are witnessing the recent environmental disaster in China.
On Friday, two oil pipelines near the port exploded, igniting a roaring fire that burned 60 feet into the air, with an estimated 11,000 barrels of oil leaking into the Yellow Sea.
Authorities reported that there were no reports of serious injuries and the fire was under control on Saturday, but as of Monday hundreds of ships were trying to clean up an oil slick that stretches for miles.
Port operations in the region are expected to be closed for at least a week.
Meanwhile, environmental activists are trying to assess the damage to one of China's most important harbors, popular beaches and fisheries.
Over the weekend, smoke from the fire covered most of downtown Dalian.
Fu Guo, a professor at the China Academy of Environmental Sciences, said the extent of damage will depend on variables such as oil containment.
A large shellfish farm run by Zhangzi Island Fisheries Group is about 50 miles from the oil spill site.
"There have been accidents in the past, but the accident is more serious," Fu said . ".
"The leak occurs near the city, so the impact on the residents may be more serious.
China National Petroleum Corporation
China's largest oil company, the owner of two pipelines in Dalian, has yet to announce the cause of the accident, but authorities are investigating Liberia-
A flag-flying tanker unloading at the time of the explosion.
Chinese analysts say the accident could have been caused by improper loading of oil into Port tanks by ships.
"The oil spill is under control.
The fire was under control.
Jiang Jiemin, general manager of the oil company, said in a statement released on Monday: "No new oil leaked into the sea . ".
The company will "learn from it and strengthen our security measures," he said.
"Chinese officials and analysts say the leak in Dalian is much smaller than that of BP in the Gulf of Mexico.
Chinese companies and officials have gained a bad reputation for ignoring environmental and security issues because of economic growth.
A series of accidents caused by the Dalian explosion have raised concerns about China's environmental and safety practices.
In December, a pipeline operated by an oil company in Shaanxi province began to leak a large amount of diesel oil, polluting a tributary of the Yellow River and threatening water supply.
Dalian Newport Oil Port is one of China's four major oil storage sites and one of the first regions to be developed as part of the national strategic oil reserve, an emergency fuel store established in 2007.
About 19 million barrels of oil were stored in the port.
At some point in the weekend, there was concern that the fire in Dalian might spread to oil tanks.
The reaction of the authorities to the Dalian bombings may indicate an improvement in crisis management.
On 1989, an oil tanker on the coastal island of Huangdao in Shandong province was struck by lightning and caught fire.
It took five days to put out the fire.
On the day of the explosion in Dalian, more than 2,000 firefighters fought overnight and successfully extinguished the fire within about 15 hours.
The equipment was shipped from other provinces in China.
As of Sunday, thousands of yards of oil fences have been set up and at least 20 oil tankers have been dispatched to collect oil.
In addition, oil absorption materials and oil were deployed to more than 500 fishing boats to help clean up. barbara. demick@latimes.
Guo guangkuo is the Beijing branch of the times.
Yang Yumi of the bureau contributed to the report.