One Fatality Reported in Dalian Oil Spill Cleanup
    2010-07-21 13:23:03      Web Editor: Yang Yang

A worker (R) attempts to rescue his co-worker from drowning in the oil slick while attempting to fix an underwater pump during the oil spill clean-up operations at Dalian's Port in Liaoning province July 20, 2010. [Photo: CFP]

A fire fighter was killed during the oil spill cleanup Tuesday morning in Dalian,northeast China's Liaoning province, People's Daily reports.

Zhang Liang was in charge of providing water from long distances to extinguish fires from the oil spill after explosions hit crude oil pipelines in Dalian on Friday.

Oil and seaweed polluted the boat pumps which forced them to be cleaned frequently. To ensure that enough water made it to the front of the fire, Zhang Liang and his colleague Han Xiaoxiong had to go into the ocean to clean the boat pumps every hour.

Despite strong winds Tuesday morning, Zhang Liang and his partner continued with their work but were swallowed by the big waves as soon as they jumped in the ocean. Han Xiaoxiong was rescued but Zhang Liang did not make it. His body was found later that afternoon.

Fire engulfed the harbor Friday evening, after a blast hit an oil pipeline and triggered an adjacent pipeline to explode. Flames raged for 15 hours before they were extinguished Saturday morning.

Cleanup efforts began Saturday, and by Monday morning 24 oil clean-up vessels and 800 fishing boats had collected about 460 tons of oil.

However, operations were forced to scale back on Tuesday due to strong winds and heavy rain.

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