Petrochemical spill cleaned up in China's Quanzhou City
By Alok Gupta
Local authorities have cleaned up a petrochemical leak from an aging hose pipe on Sunday in east China's Fujian Province, avoiding major seawater contamination in the area.
About 6.97 tons of byproducts from the refining of petroleum had leaked from a docked ship at 1:00 a.m. on November 4. The liquid chemical was being transferred from the vessel through an aging hose pipe.
In response, authorities initiated an emergency clean-up operation to absorb the chemical from the water, dispatching more than 100 ships, over 600 personnel and nearly as many bales of linoleum to absorb the chemical.
"Operation was nearly completed by 6 p.m. on Sunday,” said a local news report quoting an official. The incident was reported after a large number of Quanzhou residents started posting online messages complaining about the overpowering stench and murky seawater in the area, Xinhua reported.
Xiao, a local fisherman from Xiaocuo village, said he and his father helped clean up the oil spill. Other fishermen also tried to control the contamination with their bare hands, locals told Beijing News. The fishing community has expressed concerns over contamination of their sea produce.
A few people complaining of chest pains and breathing troubles were rushed to a local hospital.
The local environmental protection department has stated that a firm will be tasked with conducting a study on the impact of the spill on the environment.
"Impact on farming, water quality, and sea produce will be a significant part of the study,” Xinhua reported.
Authorities have assured that the Fujian Donggang Petrochemical Company has agreed to cooperate with the investigating agencies, and that it will pay for the damages as per the findings of the investigation.
(CGTN's Pan Zhaoyi also contributed to this story.)