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Oil belt lingers off Fujian province

20th March 2012

Oil left after ship runs aground offshore China.

Oil cleanup operation underway after ship hits reef

An oil belt has been left off China’s Fujian province after a Singapore-registered ship hit a reef, Xinhua news has reported.

Local maritime authorities confirmed the belt is about 3km long and 200m wide. The Fujian Maritime Rescue Centre dispatched 45 vessels from nearby cleaning and salvage companies and organisations to join the cleanup, said Huang Shifeng, deputy chief of the provincial ocean and fishery department.

The ship ran into the reef and was grounded near Jiangyin Port on 15 March on course from the city of Ningbo to the provincial capital Fuzhou. All 21 crew were rescued.

Among the 1,913 containers loaded on the ship, 101 were filled with dangerous goods such as caustic soda and herbicide. By Tuesday, 61 containers had been unloaded, while 10 had been retrieved from the water, said Chen Jian'an, an official with the provincial maritime bureau.

The ship had 1,137 tonnes of fuel left and another 114 tonnes of light diesel oil when it sank. Five tonnes of fuel had been pumped out from the tank, he said.

Local marine and environmental protection departments have strengthened water quality tests to closely monitor the impact of the oil spill.

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