Oil leak from foreign-flagged tanker triggers big pipeline explosion near storage tanks in Dalian harbour

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 17 July, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 17 July, 2010, 12:00am

An oil leak from a foreign-flagged tanker triggered a massive explosion of an oil pipeline off Dalian harbour, Liaoning province last night.

The blast happened at about 6.50pm and a fire was still raging at midnight, Xinhua reported.

CCTV said the explosion took place when a 300,000-tonne oil tanker was unloading oil.

No casualties were reported but there were no further details about the severity of the leak. The CCTV report said the explosion was close to a cluster of storage tanks. Two thousand firemen were at the scene.

Dalian is one of the most important ports in northern China.

Separately, a leak from a zinc and lead mine is threatening to contaminate Qiandao Lake, a famous resort near Shanghai and a major source of drinking water.

The accident happened at noon on Thursday when pipes under a waste-water treatment pool, owned by the Hangzhou Qiandao Lake Mine Products Company, cracked after becoming blocked due to heavy rain.

Part of the pool collapsed, causing 6,000 cubic metres of mine tailings to flow into a nearby creek that leads into the lake, China News Service reported. The leak not only affected local residents' supply of drinking water but also posed a serious threat to the lake, it said. Xinhua said the pollutants had not yet reached the lake.