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July 21, 2010

Oil spill in Dalian, China

Five days ago, in the northeastern port city of Dalian, China, two oil pipelines exploded, sending flames hundreds of feet into the air and burning for over 15 hours, destroying several structures - the cause of the explosion is under investigation. The damaged pipes released thousands of gallons of oil, which flowed into the nearby harbor and the Yellow Sea. The total amount of oil spilled is still not clear, though China Central Television earlier reported an estimate of 1,500 tons (400,000 gallons), as compared to the estimated 94 - 184 million gallons in the BP oil spill off the Louisiana coast. The oil slick has now grown to at least 430 square kilometers (165 sq mi), forcing beaches and port facilities to close while government workers and local fishermen work to contain and clean up the spill. (29 photos total)

Firefighters walk near an oil pipeline blast site in Dalian, Liaoning province, China early on July 17, 2010. Firefighters later extinguished the fire that raged for more than 15 hours after two oil pipelines exploded in the port of Dalian, the Xinhua news agency said. (REUTERS/China Daily)

Firefighters arrive at an oil pipeline blast site in Dalian, a port city in northeast China. (AP Photo/Xinhua, Cai Yongjun) #

Firefighters walk toward flames towering from a pipeline explosion at a Chinese port of Dalian on Saturday, July 17, 2010. (AP Photo) #

Firefighters try to contain the flames from a pipeline explosion in Dalian, China on Saturday, July 17, 2010. (AP Photo) #

Residual flames and smoke pour from the installation after Chinese firefighters battled a blaze which burned for 15 hours at a port in Dalian, China on July 17, 2010. More than 2,000 firefighters were mobilized to tackle the spectacular blaze, state media reported. (AFP/AFP/Getty Images) #

The photo taken on July 18, 2010 shows firemen taking break after extinguishing an oil pipeline blaze at a port in Dalian, China. Dozens of oil-skimming vessels were working to remove a growing slick in the water off the port city following a weekend pipeline explosion and fire. (AFP/AFP/Getty Images) #

Chinese firemen rest after battling a blaze at a port in Dalian, China on July 17, 2010. (AFP/AFP/Getty Images) #

An aerial photo, released by China's Xinhua news agency on July 17, 2010, shows an oil slick floating off the coast of Dalian, China. Efforts were under way to contain and clean up a large oil slick after pipeline explosions at the northeastern Chinese port sent greasy black plumes into the ocean, state media reported. (AP Photo/Xinhua, Tian Jingyue) #

This photo released by Greenpeace shows oil washing ashore near the port of Dalian, China on Tuesday, July 20, 2010. (AP Photo/Jiang He, Greenpeace) #

A Greenpeace activist surveys the damage of the oil spill at Dalian's port on July 21, 2010. (REUTERS/Jiang He/Greenpeace) #

Oil coats a boat rope on July 18, 2010 after a huge spill following the fire at the port in Dalian, China. (AFP/AFP/Getty Images) #

A picture taken on July 18, 2010 shows an oil slick in the Yellow Sea, after a huge spill following the pipeline fire at the port in Dalian, China. (AFP/AFP/Getty Images) #

Chinese workers scoop up oil from a spill in the sea near Dalian, China on July 18, 2010. (AP Photo) #

A Greenpeace activist walks on a beach, surveying the damage of the oil spill at Dalian's port on July 21, 2010. (REUTERS/Jiang He/Greenpeace) #

A Chinese worker tries to soak up oil from a spill in the sea near Dalian, China on July 18, 2010. (AP Photo) #

A boat and debris float in a thick oil slick in the Yellow Sea on July 18, 2010, after a huge spill following the pipeline fire at the port in Dalian, China. (AFP/AFP/Getty Images) #

A view of the oil spill at Dalian's port in Liaoning province on July 21, 2010. (REUTERS/Jiang He/Greenpeace) #

Waves splash spilled oil on rocks in the Yellow Sea port of Dalian, China on July 18, 2010. (STR/AFP/Getty Images) #

People's Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers place protective booms to control the spread of leaked crude oil at a beach in Dalian, China on July 21, 2010. Dalian's Xingang oil port has resumed some loadings for refined fuel for the domestic market, but fuel exports remain temporarily halted, industry officials said, as the oil spill clean-up is still under way. (REUTERS/Stringer) #

Clean-up workers in a boat try to contain a huge oil slick from seeping further into the Yellow Sea, in the port of Dalian on July 18, 2010. (AFP/AFP/Getty Images) #

A small hole in the oil slick covering parts of Dalian's port reveals relatively cleaner water and seaweed beneath on July 18, 2010. (AFP/AFP/Getty Images) #

Firemen work on a burnt-out oil storage facility in Dalian, China on July 20, 2010. (AP Photo) #

A firefighter's dirtied boots are seen on July 18, 2010 after Chinese firemen extinguished a blaze at a port in Dalian, China. (STR/AFP/Getty Images) #

Two workers try to rescue their co-worker (left) from drowning in the oil slick while he was attempting to fix an underwater pump during the oil spill clean-up operations at Dalian's Port on July 20, 2010. (REUTERS/Jiang He/Greenpeace) - [Editor's note: To clarify, the events depicted in this and the next five photographs show firefighters Zhang Liang (top left), Han Xiaoxiong (top right) and Zheng Zhanhong (entering water). Zhang Liang went under the water and oil, did not resurface, and drowned. The man being pulled ashore in the last three photos is Han Xiaoxiong. References 1,2] #

Workers attempt to rescue a firefighter from drowning in the oil slick during the oil spill clean-up operations at Dalian's Port on July 20, 2010. (REUTERS/Jiang He/Greenpeace) #

A worker (right) pulls a firefighter, rescuing him from oil-covered waters during the oil spill clean-up operations at Dalian's Port on July 20, 2010. (REUTERS/Jiang He/Greenpeace) #

A firefighter who was submerged in thick oil during an attempt to fix an underwater pump is brought ashore by his colleagues in Dalian, China on Tuesday, July 20, 2010. (AP Photo/Jiang He, Greenpeace) #

A firefighter who was rescued from oil-covered water is set down after being brought ashore by his colleagues in Dalian, China on Tuesday, July 20, 2010. (AP Photo/Jiang He, Greenpeace) #

The oil covered hand of a firefighter who was overwhelmed by the thick oil spill while attempting to fix an underwater pump is seen after he he was brought to shore by his colleagues in Dalian, China on Tuesday, July 20, 2010. (AP Photo/Jiang He, Greenpeace) - [Editor's note: To clarify, the events depicted in this and the previous five photographs show firefighters Zhang Liang (top left of photo 24), Han Xiaoxiong (above) and Zheng Zhanhong (not pictured). Zhang Liang went under the water and oil, did not resurface, and drowned. The man being pulled ashore in the last three photos is Han Xiaoxiong. References 1,2] #

 
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