2nd Ld: Fire extinguished at NE China port 15 hours after blasts hit oil pipeline
Friday, July 16, 2021 10:32 PM

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DALIAN, Jul. 17, 2010 (Xinhua News Agency) -- Flames that engulfed a port in Dalian, a coastal city in northeast China's Liaoning Province, were basically extinguished Saturday morning, 15 hours after blasts hit two oil pipelines.

The fire and explosion caused no casualties, a city government spokesman said at a press conference at 10 a.m..

As of Saturday morning, fire fighters had switched off valves on all oil tanks at the site and put the flames under control, said Xu Guochen, secretary general of the city government.

He said more than 2,000 men and 338 fire engines worked through the night to extinguish the fire.

An explosion hit an oil pipeline of 0.9 meter in diameter at 6 p.m. Friday and triggered an adjacent smaller pipeline to explode near Dalian's Xingang Harbor.

Both pipelines, owned by China National Petroleum Corp., caught fire. The blaze of the larger pipeline was extinguished around midnight, but at least five subsequent explosions worsened the fire on the smaller pipeline.

A spokesman with the Dalian fire brigade said firefighters had been unable to switch off the oil pump on the smaller pipeline.

As of 9 a.m., the fire was under control but sporadic sparks were still seen at the site, as a result of oil spills, he said.

The accident happened after a 300,000 tonne oil ship uploaded oil in the harbor. The tanker left the harbor safely.

The pipelines were links between oil ships and oil tanks on land.

The fire brigade said the accident caused no casualties as the site was far from residential areas.

Authorities in Dalian are yet to assess the damage to the environment. At sina.com, China's leading news portal, local residents complained a stinging odor was smelt in all four downtown districts of Dalian.

 

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