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Posted: 7/21/2010 7:39:32 AM EDT
Okay, maybe the official was being facetious.


BEIJING – China's largest reported oil spill
emptied beaches along the Yellow Sea as its size doubled Wednesday,
while cleanup efforts included straw mats and
frazzled workers with little more than rubber gloves.

An official warned the spill posed a "severe threat"
to sea life and water quality as China's latest environmental crisis
spread off the shores of Dalian, once named China's most livable city.

One cleanup worker has drowned, his body coated in

"I've been to a few bays today and discovered they
were almost entirely covered with dark oil," said Zhong Yu with
environmental group Greenpeace China, who spent the day on a boat
inspecting the spill.

"The oil is half-solid and half liquid and is as
sticky as asphalt," she told The Associated Press by telephone.

The oil had spread over 165 square miles (430 square
kilometers) of water five days since a pipeline at the busy northeastern
port exploded, hurting oil shipments from part of China's strategic oil
reserves to the rest of the country. Shipments remained reduced

State media has said no more oil is leaking into the
sea, but the total amount of oil spilled is not yet clear.

Greenpeace China released photos Wednesday of inky
beaches and of straw mats about 2 square meters (21 square feet) in size
scattered on the sea, meant to absorb the oil.

Fishing in the waters around Dalian has been banned
through the end of August, the state-run Xinhua News Agency reported.

"The oil spill will pose a severe threat to marine
animals, and water quality, and the sea birds," Huang Yong, deputy
bureau chief for the city's Maritime Safety Administration, told Dragon

At least one person died during cleanup efforts. A
25-year-old firefighter, Zhang Liang, drowned Tuesday when a wave threw
him from a vessel, Xinhua reported.

Officials, oil company workers and volunteers were
turning out by the hundreds to clean blackened beaches.

"We don't have proper oil cleanup materials, so our
workers are wearing rubber gloves and using chopsticks," an official
with the Jinshitan Golden Beach Administration Committee told the
Beijing Youth Daily newspaper, in apparent exasperation.

"This kind of inefficiency means the oil will keep
coming to shore. ... This stretch of oil is really difficult to clean up
in the short term."

But 40 oil-skimming boats and about 800 fishing boats were also deployed to clean
up the spill, and Xinhua said more than 15 kilometers (9 miles) of oil
barriers had been set up to keep the slick from spreading.

China 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 U.S. coast.

China's State Oceanic Administration released the
latest size of the contaminated area in a statement Tuesday.

The cause of the explosion that started the spill was
still not clear. The pipeline is owned by China National Petroleum
Corp., Asia's biggest oil and gas producer by volume.

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. Now the challenge is
cleaning up the greasy plume.

"Our priority is to collect the spilled oil within five days to reduce
the possibility of contaminating international waters," Dalian's vice
mayor, Dai Yulin, told Xinhua on Tuesday.

But an official with the State Oceanic Administration has warned the
spill will be difficult to clean up even in twice that amount of time.

Some locals said the area's economy was already hurting.

"Let's wait and see how well they deal with the oil until Sept. 1, if
the oil can't be cleaned up by then, the seafood products will all be
ruined," an unnamed fisherman told Dragon TV. "No one will buy them in
the market because of the smell of the oil."

Link Posted: 7/21/2010 7:42:38 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/21/2010 7:43:35 AM EDT by motown_steve]
Someone needs to tell China that they really don't need to copy EVERYTHING that the US does! Sheesh!

Seriously though, I'm surprised they're even bothering with the clean up.
Link Posted: 7/21/2010 7:47:28 AM EDT
what harm could a little oil due ? the worst that can happen is a penis on your back right
Link Posted: 7/21/2010 7:48:14 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/21/2010 7:50:34 AM EDT by Tekpc007]
ceo responsable will prolly get a .2 cent bullet invoice.
Link Posted: 7/21/2010 7:49:34 AM EDT
Dragon TV.  Very cool.  lol
Link Posted: 7/21/2010 7:49:45 AM EDT
not another one
Link Posted: 7/21/2010 7:50:40 AM EDT
"China" and "water quality" don't really go hand in hand.
Link Posted: 7/21/2010 7:51:46 AM EDT
Originally Posted By MotoH:
"China" and "water quality" don't really go hand in hand.

actually, dang near anywhere NOT first world, and water quality do not go hand in hand...

Link Posted: 7/21/2010 7:54:07 AM EDT
Originally Posted By MotoH:
"China" and "water quality" don't really go hand in hand.

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