Oil Spill: Pipeline Explosion Releases 400,000 Gallons In Dalian Xingang Port, China
Big Oil has a shameful history. That’s why in this series we are highlighting some of its most recent disastrous oil spills and raising awareness of the devastation that will occur if the industry is allowed to drill in the Arctic and off our coasts. Join us in the effort to protect our special places from drilling!
In Dalian Xingang Port, China’s largest oil base, a pipeline explosion released 400,000 gallons of crude oil into the ocean. A pipe transporting crude oil from a ship to a storage tank blew up, resulting in a massive fire which caused another nearby pipeline to explode. The fire raged for 15 hours before crews were able to extinguish the blaze. While officials said the port was closed off as soon as the explosion happened, the oil still managed to seep out to sea and cover 165 square miles of the Yellow Sea.
Once local cleanup crews commenced to clearing beaches, coastal habitats and marine farms, the true scope of the damage was realized. While no one aboard the ship or in the vicinity of the pipe explosion was harmed, a cleanup volunteer drowned while helping clean up the oil. His body was entirely coated with the crude oil and his death was a stark reminder of the destruction of oil spills. Local officials tried to downplay the seriousness of the oil spill, reporting that the area was home to “little marine farming” when in fact the numerous local marine farms were devastated. Dalian’s seafood farming industry took a major hit, with an estimated 10,000 shellfish farms reported contaminated. Fishing around Dalian was banned until the end of August in order to prevent people from ingesting contaminated seafood, which can cause cancer.
Hundreds of animals died as a result of the oil spill. The ecological harm in the area will last for more than a decade.. Oil spills are disastrous no matter the amount spilled into the ocean, and their harmful effects last through the years even after you cannot visibly see the oil.
By Jessie Tucker