Worst Oil Spill in Five Years off South China Coast
BEIJING — Two container ships collided and spilled some 450 tonnes of fuel oil off China's southern coast, the country's worst oil spill in five years, a maritime official said on Thursday.
The heavy oil spilled from a German-registered container ship after it collided with a vessel registered in Panama near the mouth of the Pear River on Tuesday night. The spill has spread to an area of 20 to 200 metres (65 to 656 ft) wide and nine nautical miles long, the officia said.
"It is the worst ocean pollution event in five years," said the official, who declined to be named.
There were no casualties and the two vessels were not in danger of sinking.
"The oil leakage has been controlled but it will take some time to clear the oil on the sea," said the official from the Ministry of Communications, adding that strong winds in the area had slowed clearing work.
Helicopters were monitoring the spill from above and hundreds of tonnes of cleaning materials have been sent to the area, the official said.