Asia-Pacific

China launches oil spill clean-up after pipeline blasts

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Media captionFootage shown on Chinese state TV shows fire crews battling to contain the blaze

China has launched an operation to clean up a large oil spill in the Yellow Sea after two oil pipelines exploded in the port city of Dalian.

The slick is reported to spread for 50 sq km (19 sq miles).

Fires started by the blasts late on Friday burned throughout the weekend. No deaths or injuries were reported.

The explosions and fire occurred when a pipe carrying oil from a tanker to a storage tank blew up, causing another nearby pipeline to explode.

The oil port has been closed since the explosion, and an official told Reuters news agency that a contingency plan for a week's closure was in place.

The pipelines belong to the China National Petroleum Corporation, Asia's largest oil and gas producer by volume.

Some 1,500 tonnes of crude oil had spilled into the Yellow Sea, state media said.

Oil-skimming vessels and other ships have been deployed to remove the slick from the ocean, the Beijing News reported.

The authorities said the clean-up would take 10 days.

Small pockets of flames were reported to be still burning on Monday as firefighters used cooling foam to try to fully extinguish the fire, reports said.

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