China oil spill 311 AP.
(photo credit: Associated Press)
BEIJING — China National Petroleum Corp. said Thursday a vital pipeline has resumed operations after an explosion caused the country's largest reported oil spill.
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Cleanup efforts — marred by the drowning death of a worker, his body coated in crude — continued over 165 square mile (430 square kilometer) stretch of water blanketed in thick, dark oil Thursday, after an official warned the spill posed a severe threat to sea life and water quality. The slick emptied beaches as its size doubled Wednesday.
It remained unclear exactly how much oil has escaped the pipeline six
days after it exploded for reasons unknown at a busy northeastern port.
State media has said no more oil is leaking into the Yellow Sea.
Central Television earlier reported an estimate of 1,500 tons of oil
has spilled. That would amount roughly to 400,000 gallons (1,500,000
liters) — as compared with 94 million to 184 million gallons in the BP
oil spill off the US coast
Officials, oil company workers
and volunteers were turning out by the hundreds to clean blackened
beaches, but questions were raised about the effectiveness of the
The cause of the explosion that started the spill was
still not clear. Friday's images of 100-foot-high (30-meter-high) flames
at China's second largest port for crude oil imports drew the immediate
attention of President Hu Jintao and other top leaders.