22 killed in China oil pipeline blast
Beijing – At least 22 people were killed Friday morning when a leaking petroleum pipeline caught fire and exploded in the coastal city of Qingdao in China’s Shandong province, authorities said.
The number of injured people have not yet been confirmed. They are being treated in local hospitals, Xinhua reported.
The accident happened around 10.30 a.m. in Huangdao district when workers! were repairing the petroleum pipeline, which began leaking oil at around 3 a.m., according to the Qingdao government’s publicity office.
Oil flow through the pipeline was shut down at about 3.15 a.m. The fire was put out, and barricades were set up to stop the oil from entering the sea, according to a comment posted Friday on the official microblog of the Qingdao municipal environmental protection bureau on Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter-like microblogging service.
The 176-km pipeline, which links oil depots in Huangdao to Weifang city, home to a few petrochemical plants, is owned by Sinopec, China’s largest oil refiner.
Pieces of cement and debris were scattered around the explosion site, which is close to the coast.
No new oil leakage from the pipeline had been found, according to a Xinhua reporter at the scene.
According to the city’s maritime safety administration, there has been no report on blast-related pollution in the sea so far, bu! t they have strengthened patrolling around the coastal areas close to t! he blast site.
The cause of the accident is under investigation.