June 27th, 2012 | Global Times Crews clean up fuel spill in estuary
Workers had cleaned about 60,000 square meters of contaminated water in the Yangtze River estuary by yesterday afternoon after a cargo ship sprang a fuel leak when it collided with another ship.
A preliminary investigation found no imminent threat to the local environment, according to the Shanghai Maritime Safety Administration.
“Currently, we haven’t identified any environmental damage,” said Zheng Hui, a bureau spokesperson.
No traces of fuel have been found at the nearby mud flats so far, though the bureau is still investigating, she added.
The fuel leak occurred after the MAXIMA, a 7,878-ton general cargo ship registered in the Netherlands, and the JINGFAN1, a 9,895-ton bulk carrier registered in China, collided in the Nancao Waterway early Tuesday, according to the bureau.
The two ships stopped immediately after the collision, but the MAXIMA had already begun leaking from its fuel tank.
Twenty nine ships, including patrol boats, participated in the cleanup. Workers used containment booms, sheets and pumps to remove the fuel from the waterway.
As of 2:30 pm yesterday, workers had removed all of the fuel, according to the bureau. “We have salvaged 15 tons of fuel so far,” said Zhou Zhengbao, a spokesperson with the bureau.
He said the amount of fuel oil that leaked into the water still needed to be calculated.
During the cleanup, the intake of Qingcaosha Reservoir, which provides tap water to part of the city, shut down temporarily, local radio reported yesterday.
“The reservoir holds 40 million tons of water, enough to supply the city for two months, so there is nothing to worry about,” Fu Jianrong, spokesperson for the Shanghai Water Authority, told the Global Times yesterday.
The Nancao Waterway handles 70 percent of the shipping traffic in and out of the Yangtze River.
On April 11, one cargo ship sank after colliding with another ship on the waterway. Five crew members had to be rescued by nearby ships.
By Wang Yizhou